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  1. University for Seniors جامعة الكِبار June 15, 2011 American University of Beirut

  2. It began three years ago as the idea of two people at AUB…….

  3. And now … The University for Seniors is a new life-long learning community at AUB catering exclusively to older adults, the first of its kind in Lebanon and the Middle East. It gives older people the opportunity to share their wisdom and passion, and to learn things they have always wanted to learn in a friendly academic environment Active participants: 150 Interested /mailing list: nearly 400 Terms completed: 3 (11 study groups, 2 lecture series, 1 trip)

  4. Initial observations in 2008 • Ras Beirut, a graying neighborhood? • Many older people aspire to remain active but have few opportunities • Inspiring programs in other countries – a potential model for us here • Our learning process • Focus group discussions – 50 older adults • Survey of AUB alumni – 340 responded on-line and by mail • Questionnaire to university-based programs in USA and Canada

  5. Today’s seniors – by our definition anyone aged 50 or older – want to remain intellectually and socially engaged, and actively contributing to their community.

  6. Learning for the pleasure of learning! University for Seniors principles Community building: Joining the university for Seniors means becoming a member of a group. Run by members themselves. Peer learning: Members learn from one another rather than from a paid professional instructor. Study group leaders and lecturers are all volunteers. Intergenerational connections: Members connect to the regular AUB student body through multiple academic and extra-curricular activities.

  7. Types of activities • Study groups * • Mini-courses* • Public lectures* • Educational travel programs* • Special interest groups • Joint projects with students • Social gatherings*

  8. Activities • Study groups • Mini-courses • Educational travel • Special interest groups • Joint projects with students • Public lectures

  9. Activities – Spring 2011 Study groups on poetry appreciation, chamber music masterworks, architectural history of downtown, history of Lebanese art Public lecture series – Great Cities of the World Barcelona, Istanbul, Bangkok, Cairo (16 June)

  10. Where we are headed • Institutionalizing – AUB Continuing Education Center • Creating a membership organization • Developing a wider range of activities • Expanding the profile of participants • Raising funds

  11. How you can participate • Join our mailing list for upcoming activities (ufs@aub.edu.lb) • Great Cities of the World - final lecture 16 June • Lead a study group in Fall 2011? • Join other activities during Fall 2011 • If you are over 50, consider becoming a member • Contribute to our University for Seniors Fund

  12. The AUB University for Seniors – a unique community-building initiative for learning and sharing life experience