17 September 2018

Autonomous University of Central America offers educational opportunities to older persons

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), as part of its continuous outreach efforts about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), shares this story bearing in mind that such Goals are to be met for all segments of society, at all ages, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable—including older persons

17 September 2018 - The Autonomous University of Central America (Costa Rica), a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), has developed an initiative entitled Integral Development of the Older Adult Person, managed as a project of the Office of Projection, Social Extension and Sports Coordination, aimed to provide different opportunities for integration and personal development to the older persons of the canton of Curridabat.

The initiative looks to offer senior adults (65 years old or more) who live in the community surrounding the campus, access to higher education with a tailor-mode curriculum. Courses related to seven undergraduate programmes such as Law, Physical Education, Medicine, Nursing, Psychology, Systems Engineering and Architecture, are taught. Classes take place twice a week and are designed taking into consideration the particular needs of the older persons.

Two courses have been already successfully completed, Rights and Duties of the Elderly Adult Person and Human Movement for the Improvement of the Quality of Life of the Older Adult Person. The first one, organized by the Law School, explained the most relevant legal principles and also the basics about the legislation applicable to the Older Adult. The second course was focused on learning healthy lifestyles through appropriate workout and physical activities.

Overall, the university praises this initiative not only for its educational impact but also for its social effects in the target group. As stated in this document published by the United Nations, it is important "to go beyond treating older persons as a vulnerable group" because "older persons must be recognized as the active agents of societal development in order to achieve truly transformative, inclusive and sustainable development outcomes".