4th Latin American Congress of Universities for Older Adults - Alicante

27/06/2011
30/06/2011

Next 27th June 2011, Latin American Congress of Universities for Older Adults is taLogo UIMPking place in Alicante. The congress will be multicultural and interdisciplinary, with the incorporation of several perspectives of Universities, Institutions responsible for education, social and economic policies linked to the subject, as well as to researches of the field related to education sciences, gerontology, sociology of ageing and other subjects of the field related to social sciences and humanities that can   provide appropriate researches, results and proposals to the issues to deal with in the Congress.

Link to the website of the Congress: http://www.aepumayores.org/ciuumm2011

CONCLUSIONS

  1. PUMs have contributed in a crucial sense to democratize knowledge, to promote active ageing and to improve personal autonomy, levels of participation and standards of living of older adults, demanding for this social and academic recognition of this kind of studies, although it is not professionalizing.
  2. In spite of the high level of institutionalization reached and efficiency in the management system, the presence of older adults at university has been governed for many years, from the point of view of the legal system, more by custom general principles of law than by the law, what has negative effects on its full incorporation at university. University training of older adults at this moment shows enough social, pedagogical and legal characters of imperative, coercitive and general nature to be the object of legal regulation with urgency nature.
  3. PUMs should go on working along the lines already initiated of armonizing its structure and curricular designs, which is compatible with the high levels of specialization, and coordinating interdisciplinary actions and interdepartmental working groups among institutions involved in the training for older adults, with the aim of optimizing resources and locating public policies that share lifelong formation.
  4. The big educational dimension, flexibility and adaptability, organization changes, students and professors’ mobility, innovative experiences and establishment of good practices are real symbols of identity of PUMs, what lets solve the problem of non-visibility of older adults in society.
  5. PUMs contribute to the creation of an inclusive and intergenerational society for all ages, due to their aims and their organizative structure. Experiences have been shown, conceptual trends and organizative models have been discussed, and the results of assessment of educative programs and actions have been reviewed. These results show how the University, to which young people and older adults attend, constitutes the ideal framework for intergenarational relationships.
  6. It has been comprehensively analysed the benefits that intergeneraltional programs mean to participants, driving institutions and the society that takes them in. Among these benefits, those related to promotion of citizens and active social participation, improvement of quality of life, self-esteem, physical and social health of participants and eradication of stereotypes have been highlighted. It has also been reported on those researches that both older adults and young people received benefits related to the transfer of values, acquisition of social and communicative skills and improvement of teaching-leaning processes in the perspective of lifelong learning.
  7. PUPM show enough signs of a lifelong process of organizative and methodological innovation seen in the whole geocultural European and Latin American area. They must contribute to a cooperative learning that allows the acquisition of new personal, intellectual and social competences.
  8. In our technoscientific society, the market of products and services of ICT and ageing is no longer on the incipient phases when we talk about the educative work with older adults at university. New educative scenes have developed potentials and training methodologies where the older adult is the main character of the educative action, provided that it is known the characteristics and strategies by which older adults learn. It has been proved that teaching at virtual environments with older adults is different in several aspects from teaching in class, and it should be known the tools and good practices if we want to get along with the older adult in his educative project.
  9. Several models and experiences of international cooperation in lifelong education have been analysed. This fact has been crucial in the progress of PUPMs and in its development. That is why it has become evident the need of deepen in the internationalization process of PUPMs, for which it is necessary go on counting with the support of public announcement and support programs to cooperation in order to being able to establish joint actions.
  10. It was revealed in the Congress the great progress produced in the last five years in the development of basis and applied researches, which arouse from different fields of knowledge, to the positive impact that the programs have, both in the economic and social area, in the management of active ageing by older adults themselves who attend this programs, and in health and quality of life.
  11. Although we are a long way from reaching a univocal definition of quality at university, in general, regarding PUMs progresses on the definition of objectives and organization by cycles, syllabus with perspective of age and genre, teaching-learning processes, students, professors, financial resources, relations with society and international importance are detected.
  12. In spite of the progresses, it still remains open a future work program that allows to carry out progresses in the following fundamental issues:
    1. Deepening in a model of accreditation that is specific for PUPMs, and crucially contributes to full university integration.
    2. Incorporation of innovative criteria of great significance for university training of older adults.
    3. Enumeration of the aspects of excellence in each one of the offered criteria that have been worked in the different sessions which have formed the 4th Latin American Congress of PUPMs.
  13. In the field of international cooperation and as one of the main objectives of the Congress, during the Congress, they have been working on the proposal of creating a Latin American Network of Universities for Older (RIPUAM) that should be confirmed by the plenary of Latin American Universities at the proper. This Network has its precedents on:  the first Latin American Meeting in Sevilla –Spain 2000; and on the following Latin American Congresses carried out in Lima – Perú 2005, Entre Ríos - Argentina 2007, San José – Costa Rica 2009 and Alicante –Spain 2011. RIPUAM will be a model of articulation and implementation of programs and research programs, extension, social action, teaching and production for the promotion and development of lifelong education in accordance with international guidelines suggested at the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing (Madrid 2002). Its aim will be promoting inclusion, researches, participation, exchanges and mutual enrichment from a democratic and plural perspective, based on the respect to diversity, educative university centers and programs addressed to older adults (Paraná, September 2007). It will have as general objective to create and develop a place for theoretical and methodological thoughts about educative experiences addressed to older adults on the Latin American area and the development of joint actions. RIPUAM considers the following specific aims:
    1. To develop lifelong programs of on-site and virtual training, for teachers that work with older adults;
    2. To develop joint researches about the subject matter related to the Network;
    3. To promote the incorporation of new educative university Programs to RIPUAM;
    4. To generate places of Exchange of syllabus, curricula, methodologies, participation of older adults and experiences;
    5. To organize Latin American Congresses of University Programs addressed to older adults every two years in headquarters and countries in Latin America;
    6. To establish an area of lifelong communication among educative university experiences in order to exchange publications and to spread activities on the Network. Its main areas of action will be:
      1. research;
      2. training, exchange, and students and professors’ mobility;
      3. cooperation in educative management;
      4. cooperation in development and sustainability.
    7. On 27th June the meeting of temporary setting-up of this Network took place on the venue of the vice-chancellor of the University of Alicante, being confirmed on 28th by the assembly of AEPUM and on 30th June by Latin American Universities. In order to set RIPUAM up definitely, universities will go on working on the development of regulations and necessary terms for the acceptance of agreements by the respective institutions that make it up and the appropriate effects of official formalization of the Network.
  14. The University of Havana has suggested the Plenary of the Latin American Universities that take part on CIUUMM 2011, the development of the 5th Latin American Congress of University Programs for Older that will take place in 2013. This proposal has been confirmed and passed.

Paper with conclusions of the IV Iberoamerican Congress:

LA EDUCACIÓN DEL ADULTO MAYOR: MIRADAS DE 5 CONGRESOS EN LA REGIÓN IBEROAMERICANA - María Isabel Miró Montoliu [PDF]