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Asunto:NoticiasdelCeHu 590/03 - Third Age Universities in Finland
Fecha:Jueves, 29 de Mayo, 2003  16:28:01 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>

NCeHu 590/03
Third Age Universities in Finland
The university programmes for the third age are a special form of open university. Their aim is to impart knowledge of topical research findings to older people, as well as to offer them opportunities to independent studies at the university level without formal requirements of qualifications. The University of the Third Age (UTA) is a meeting place for scientific knowledge and life experience.

The first UTA in Finland was founded in 1985 at the University of Jyväskylä. Six months later it was launched also at the University of Helsinki. Today UTA programmes are running at nine universities. Third age university activities are coordinated and developed by a national advisory board which was established in 1989.

The UTAs of Finland are all connected with the universities. In some cases the programmes are arranged jointly with the local summer universities or with local open colleges.

The UTA programmes have been extremely popular in Finland from the very beginning. The total number of participants each year is about 4400 older people, of which 80 % are women. The average age of the participants is 69 years, their basic education varying from primary level to tertiary. The vocational profile is also very heterogeneous. One of the typical reasons for participating in the programmes is, for instance, that these older people did not have a chance to study earlier in their lives, due to lack of financial resources, war, or some other external constrain.