No age limit to learning, as UniSC joins global age-friendly universities network | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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No age limit to learning, as UniSC joins global age-friendly universities network

With its focus on lifelong learning and healthy ageing research, the University of the Sunshine Coast has become only the second higher education institution in the Oceania region to join a global network of age-friendly universities.

“UniSC is thrilled to endorse the Age-Friendly University Global Network  (AFU) principles and join with other universities dedicated to creating a more age-friendly and age-inclusive world," said UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Helen Bartlett.

“Learning knows no age limit at UniSC, with our five campuses from Moreton Bay to Wide Bay servicing regions with populations of older residents higher than the national average,” Professor Bartlett said.

“We recognise the important role UniSC plays in providing older adults in our regions with lifelong learning opportunities and diverse programs and resources that cater to their unique needs and aspirations.”

UniSC graduate Sharon Sutton

“One of UniSC’s newest graduates is a 73-year-old great grandmother who achieved her dream of gaining a degree sixty years after having to leave school aged 12 to support her family.

“Her incredible story epitomises how our commitment to inclusivity and recognising the value of older adults aligns perfectly with the AFU principles, and we look forward to collaborating with other member institutions to further enhance age-friendly practices within higher education.”

UniSC is also focused on research and outreach that addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with ageing, including world-class research into the causes of cognitive decline and lifestyle programs to reduce dementia risk.

“By joining the AFU Global Network, we aim to collaborate with like-minded institutions and contribute to cutting-edge research in gerontology and related disciplines,” Professor Bartlett said.

UniSC joins The University of Queensland as the only AFU global network members from the Oceania region.

UniSC’s age-friendly university initiatives include:

Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic: The UniSC Thompson Institute research is the first to investigate the mechanisms underlying healthy brain ageing through integrating neuroimaging and biomarker analysis to determine the cause of cognitive decline. It also offers lifestyle programs aimed at reducing this risk.

My Active and Healthy Ageing: UniSC is the only Australian partner in this global research project that seeks to develop a monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults.

Healthy Ageing and Community Care research project:  UniSC has partnered with health care and aged care sectors, and the communities they support, to deliver better outcomes through research that incorporates elements of care of older persons, including promotion and preventative care, rehabilitation, chronic disease management, residential and home-dwelling aged care, and research of aged care educational and workforce issues.

Lifestyle Risk Factors for Chronic Disease Across the Stages of Reproductive Ageing in Women:  This exciting new research aims to better understand lifestyle risk factors including body composition, inflammation, and cognition before, during, and after menopause.

Equip Program: A series of free workshops where adults of all ages can gain the skills, direction, knowledge, and confidence to take on their career and study goals. Specifically designed for those thinking of taking the first steps to study at university or TAFE.

Access Events for Adults Considering Further Study:  Every semester, UniSC delivers both face-to-face and virtual information events designed to encourage adults to return to education and to promote career development.

UniSC’s Gympie Campus Healthy Ageing and Community Care Hub: With a focus on gerontology and age-related research, the Hub provides nursing, and social and human services students with knowledge and practical skills required in the aged care sector, in collaboration with industry partners. It also holds healthy ageing and community care symposiums and workshops to build capacity and increase collaboration across the region’s aged care, home care and volunteer carer sectors.

UniSC OWLS:  A mature age student group at UniSC that aims to help members navigate university life from a more mature perspective.

University of the Third Age (U3A):  UniSC actively supports U3A’s model of continued learning for senior citizens by providing office and tutorial space for U3A groups at its Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast campuses. U3A Noosa operates in Tewantin out of premises owned by UniSC.

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