This makes our institution the 100th member of the Global Network of Age-Friendly Universities (AFU).
By obtaining this title, educational institutions commit themselves to promoting cooperation between the older and younger generations and to improving the labour market situation of older people. Our University's mission is to provide education, scientific knowledge and the intergenerational transfer of cutting-edge knowledge. As a result, the older generation who wish to return to or remain in the labour market will have better opportunities to meet the challenges of today's world by acquiring up-to-date, practical knowledge.
The Age-Friendly University (AFU) network is made up of higher education institutions around the world that support the 10 AFU principles and are committed to becoming more age-friendly in their programmes and operations. The AFU Principles reflect the work of an international, interdisciplinary team convened by Professor Brian MacCraith, then President of Dublin City University (DCU), to identify what higher education institutions can do to meet the needs and interests of an ageing population. Encouraged by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, the principles were launched in Ireland, the UK, the US and Canada in 2012.
The 10 principles of the AFU:
To encourage the participation of older people in all core university activities, including teaching and research programmes.
To promote personal and professional development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to seek a second career.
To recognise the educational needs of the ageing population (from early school leavers to those who wish to seek a master's or doctoral degree).
To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the mutual sharing of expertise between learners of different ages.
To expand access to online learning opportunities for the ageing population to ensure a diversity of pathways to participation.
To ensure that the university's research agenda is informed by the needs of an ageing society and to facilitate communication on how higher education can better meet the diverse interests and needs of ageing generations.
To promote understanding among younger generations of the returns of longevity dividend and how ageing makes our society increasingly complex and rich.
To improve access for ageing adults to the University's health and wellness programmes, arts, and cultural activities.
To actively engage with the University's own retirement community.
To ensure a regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the ageing generations.
The AFU network has a predominantly US, Irish, English, and Canadian university members. The 100 members currently include some Central European universities: one Slovak, one Slovenian and one Czech. In Hungary, John von Neumann University is the first university to have applied for the membership, stating that it is important for its management and staff to take into account the experience of the ageing population and to meet their educational and cultural needs in their daily work and in the formulation of their strategic objectives. The University, as a member of the AFU Network, wishes to continue to pass on this approach to its wider and wider community.