About Age-Friendly University


Age-Friendly University

Welcome to the Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative at DCU.

Since its earliest days DCU has been committed to widening access to higher education, and this includes enhancing the lives of older members of our community through our innovative educational programmes, research agenda, curriculm development, online education, health and wellness activities,  arts and culture programme and civic engagement opportunities..

Reporting to the President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, an interdisciplinary working group chaired by Prof. Maria Slowey, Director of HERC set out to identify the distinctive contributions that could be made by higher education institutions in addressing the needs of older adults. As a result, a set of 10 generic principles for an 'Age-Friendly University' was established, and now adopted by partner universities in Ireland, the UK and the USA.

AnTaoiseach, Enda Kenny TD  who launched the initiave on on November 9th  2012 said:

"Through this initiative, DCU is taking a leadership role in preparing society for the multifaceted challenges of our aging demographic. It will actively encourage older people to come into our higher education institutions and to become involved in shaping university programmes. The age friendly activities being promoted are both relevant and correctly targeted at promoting the quality of life of our older men and women. It is truly a pioneering initiative and I wish you the very best of luck in the coming years.  (Age-Friendly University initiative formally launched

In 2014, building on the work of Prof. Slowey and the working group, an Age-Friendly Coordinator - Ms. Christine O'Kelly was appointed and  the Age-Friendly Implementation Action Team, chaired by Mr. Trevor Holmes, Vice President of Strategic and External Affiairs was established.  The Team represents six Pillars across  the university:

  • Research and Innovation
  • Teaching and Learning  
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Intergenerational Learning
  • Encore Careers and Enterprise
  • Civic Engagement

In addition, an External Advisory Board comprising organisations and experts  working with older people act in an advisory capacity:

  • Age Action Ireland
  • Age and Opportunity
  • Aontas
  • Senior Citizens Parliament
  • Fingal County Council 
  • Retirement Planning Council of Ireland
  • Third Age Foundation
  • Ms. Anne Connolly
  • Prof. Des O'Neill
  • U3A Baldoyle
  • Whitehall Active Retirement Association 

Whether you are a potential participant, a researcher or partner organisation we invite your active engagement with us