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The University of Texas at Austin is Now Officially an Age-Friendly University

The University of Texas at Austin has joined the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network, which consists of institutions of higher education around the world who have committed themselves to including adults of all ages in their programs and policies.

"Being recognized as an Age-Friendly University means that UT Austin is an inclusive environment providing education to midlife- and older adults as well as to young adults," says Karen Fingerman, professor of human development and family sciences, research director of the Center on Aging & Population Sciences and director of the Texas Aging & Longevity Center (TALC). "As an institution of higher education, we have sought to respond to the educational interests of adults in midlife, and the growing older population. UT is also at the cutting edge of research on adult development and aging, with strong community involvement with older populations."

The Age-Friendly University Global Network is a rapidly growing network, initiated by a team of interdisciplinary scholars, the goal of which is to raise public awareness of aging in society and to create age-friendly educational environments at institutions of higher learning. Being recognized as an AFU demonstrates UT's commitment to promoting healthy and active aging through research, enhanced learning opportunities for people across generations, and innovations that address issues affecting older adults.

"UT has enacted initiatives that make learning a lifelong process," says Fingerman. "In addition to educating young adult college students, we have programming for midlife adults who are interested in embarking on new careers and for healthy older adults in retirement. Our research, training, and outreach efforts also address the needs of those older adults who incur physical and cognitive health declines. Recognition as an AFU reinforces our holistic view of the college's mission to serve the entire population from entry into adulthood to the end of life."