Ageing and society: the university’s role

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Abstract

The ageing of the population is beginning to be an economic, social and health matter even for countries that do not belong to the advanced developed economies, but where the phenomenon can take on an impressive size that risks affecting the entire globe.

It is clear that intervening downstream of the problem with forms of economic subsidy and health aid is not a winning strategy.

It is necessary to work on prevention by limiting, as much as possible, the periods of non-self-sufficiency of older people that represent high health and social costs. Active ageing seems to be particularly useful in accompanying people towards a long, mostly self-sufficient and value-added old age, whereby older people can continue to be active members of the society in which they live.

The system of higher education is able to perform a function of extreme importance with respect to the possibility, for the elderly population of a country, to actively live their old age: developing the activities of Life Long Learning, encouraging the birth of universities of the third age, intervene in the design, implementation and management of permanent training centres for the elderly are activities in which the university institutions can and must engage.

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