Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network

AFU rgbThe Age-Friendly University (AFU) network consists of institutions of higher education around the globe who have endorsed the 10 AFU principles and committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies. The Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) endorses the AFU principles and invites its members and affiliates to call upon their institutions become part of this pioneering initiative.

Joining the AFU AGHE network of global partners offers institutions the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

The AFU principles reflect the work of an international, interdisciplinary team convened by Professor Brían MacCraith, then President, Dublin City University (DCU) to identify the distinctive contributions institutions of higher education can make in responding to the interests and needs of an aging population. Launched by the Irish Prime Minister, (An Taoiseach) Enda Kenny in 2012 the 10 AFU principles have been adopted by institutions in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

Why should my institution endorse the AFU principles?
Across communities in the U.S., the number of older adults is growing annually at unprecedented rates and significantly more individuals are experiencing increased longevity. Response to the educational needs and interests of this emerging age population calls for new opportunities and innovative practices of teaching, research, and community engagement that colleges and universities in communities are poised to offer.

The AFU principles give your institution a valuable guiding framework for distinguishing and evaluating how it can shape age-friendly programs and practices, as well as identify gaps and opportunities for growth.

Joining the AFU network of global partners offers your institution the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

How does my institution go about endorsing the AFU principles?
Complete the following steps to join the AFU network of global partners working to build more age-friendly institutions of higher education.

1. Meet with colleagues from your department (and interested others from affiliated aging programs or centers) to review the AFU principles and map how they inform opportunities and gaps at your institution. Seek faculty endorsement of the principles at the department, program, and/or institutional level.

2. Arrange a meeting with the appropriate member of your administration (e.g., dean, provost, president) who would approve your institutional endorsement. Some institutions may also wish to discuss the initiative with a faculty assembly, a governance group, or curriculum committee.

3. Work with your communications office to develop a press release announcing your institution’s endorsement of the AFU principles. AGHE is happy to provide comments for your notice.

Some FAQ’s
Is there a cost? Currently, there is no cost to join; however, a membership model is being considered to support the rapidly growing network.

Does my institution need to fulfill all AFU principles? While it is hoped that institutions will strive to address all of the 10 AFU principles to some degree, variation is expected given factors that distinguish institutions and their programs.

For more information about becoming a member of the AFU global network, send a note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tools for Advancing Age Inclusivity in Higher Education

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and its Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) designed this toolkit, with support from AARP, to provide resources to advance age inclusivity in institutions of higher education. The suite of tools can be used by faculty, students, administrators, and other campus leaders and may be adapted to meet your institution’s approach to making the case, building relationships, addressing ageism, crafting new efforts, and conducting assessments.

Advancing age inclusivity can occur at different levels and junctures within an institution—for example, within a course or academic program, within a specific college, or across an entire campus. This toolkit can be used as a foundation for institutions looking to be more age inclusive in these ways as well as for those interested in becoming members of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network.


Advancing Age Inclusivity in Higher Education


The 10 Age-Friendly University Principles

1. To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.
2. To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue second careers.
3. To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Master's or PhD qualifications).
4. To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages.
5. To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation.
6. To ensure that the university's research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to promote public discourse on how higher education can better respond to the varied interests and needs of older adults.
7. To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society.
8. To enhance access for older adults to the university's range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities.
9. To engage actively with the university's own retired community.
10. To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population.

Global Network

AGHE is Pleased to be Part of the AFU Initiative and Growing AFU Network:

Arizona State University (USA)
Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland)
California State University, Fullerton (USA) — View Press Release
California State University, Long Beach (USA)
California State University, San Bernardino (USA)  — View Press Release
Central Connecticut State University (USA) — View Press Release
Colorado State University (USA) — View Press Release
Comenius University Bratislava (Slovakia)
Concordia University Chicago (USA)
Daejon Seniors Centre (South Korea)
Dominican University of California (USA)
Drexel University (USA)
Dublin City University (Ireland)
Eastern Michigan University (USA)
Eckerd College (USA) — View Press Release
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Fielding Graduate University (USA)
Florida Atlantic University (USA) — View Press Release
Florida State University (USA) — View Press Release
Hunter College (USA)
Ithaca College (USA)
Lasell College (USA)
Leeds Beckett University (England)
Los Angeles Pierce College (USA)
Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
Masaryk University (Czech Republic)
Massachusetts Gerontology Association (USA) 
McMaster University (Canada)
Miami University (USA)
Michigan State University (USA)
Missouri State University (USA)
Munster Technological University (Ireland)
National College of Ireland (Ireland)
National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland)
Niagara College (Canada)
Northeastern Illinois University (USA)
Northern Kentucky University (USA)
Ontario Tech University (Canada)
Palo Alto University (USA)
Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas (Brazil)
Portland State University (USA)
Purdue University (USA) — View Press Release
Quinnipiac University (USA)
Rhode Island College (USA)
Royal College of Physicians (Ireland)
Ryerson University (Canada) — View Press Release
San Diego State University (USA)
Santa Monica College (USA) — View Article
St. Cloud State University (USA)
Stockton University (USA)
Strathclyde University Glasgow (Scotland)
Trent University (Canada)
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Ulster University (Northern Ireland)
University of Akron (USA)
University of Bratislava (Slovak Republic)
University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus (Canada)
University of Calgary (Canada)
University of California Los Angeles (USA)
University College Dublin (Ireland)
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (USA) — View Press Release
University of Colorado Denver (USA) — View Press Release
University of Hartford (USA) — View Press Release
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (USA) — View Press Release
University of Maine (USA)
University of Manitoba (Canada)
University in Maribor (Slovenia)
University of Maryland Baltimore (USA)
University of Maryland Baltimore County (USA)
University of Massachusetts five-campus university system (USA) — View Press Release
   - University of Massachusetts Amherst
   - University of Massachusetts Boston
   - University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
   - University of Massachusetts Lowell
   - University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Minnesota (USA)
University of Montana (USA)
University of Murcia- Lorca campus (Spain)
University of Nebraska Omaha (USA)
University of New England (USA)
University of North Georgia (USA)
University of Pai Chai (South Korea)
University of the Philippines OU (Philippines)
University of Queensland (Australia)
University of Rhode Island (USA)
University of San Francisco (USA) — View Press Release
University of Sherbrooke (Canada)
University of Southern California (USA)
University of the Pacific (USA)
University of Texas at Austin (USA)
University of Vermont (USA)
University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse (USA)
University of Wisconsin-Superior (USA) — View Press Release
University of Zurich (Switzerland)
Virginia Commonwealth University (USA)
Washington University at St. Louis (USA)
Wayne State University (USA)
West Valley College (USA)
Western Kentucky University (USA)
Western Oregon University (USA)
Wichita State University (USA)
William James College (USA)

Share This Page!

Print Page