UNIVERSITY FOR AMBITIOUS SENIOR STUDENTS
alma mater No. 166
Inaugural lecture for the 2013/2014 Senior Students’ academic year
One of the biggest challenges for institutions providing education for senior citizens is the need to enhance the computer literacy of their students. Technological progress is so rapid that nowadays individuals engaged in advancing their education need to know more than just the basics of how to use a computer and the internet, they must also be able to enhance their computer proficiency, and that is why the Jagiellonian University of the Third Age offers them IT courses conducted by a specialist. Poland’s best university has the duty to provide a profound scope of up-to-date knowledge, along with today’s tools and the skills to acquire it, to its Senior Students as well. Most of the senior citizens’ universities in Poland have always been based on the French model, which means they have always been Nordic walking in the AWF Park
fully integrated in their parent university. However, keeping up academic standards of education in them is difficult, some institutions are finding this impossible or even dispensable. More and more often university courses for senior citizens are turning into social activities enhancing the physical fitness of their participants, offering them entertainment and recreation, or getting them to pursue a hobby. We believe that the Jagiellonian University of the Third Age, which conducts its activities within Poland’s oldest and best University, may be expected to provide much more. From the very outset our aim has always been to advance the intellectual skills and faculties of our mature students.
The Rector’s Plenipotentiary for the Jagiellonian University of the Third Age Krzysztof Piekarski
n 1982 the Senates of the Jagiellonian University and the (then) Medical Academy decided to launch an educational programme for the over-forties. We owe the establishment of Kraków’s University of the Third Age (Uniwersytet Trzeciego Wieku) to two distinguished scholars, Professor Maria Susułowska, pioneer of Clinical Psychology at the Jagiellonian University, one of whose scientific interests was the psychology of old age; and the distinguished gerontologist and geriatrist Professor Józef Kocemba, founder of the Geriatrics Clinic. The Jagiellonian University of the Third Age has changed a lot over the 32 years of its activities and is still searching for the best model for its operations. The only thing that hasn’t changed are its academic standards and its university level of education, to which the unit will always be committed. Currently the minimum age for admission is 50, and applicants must prove they have completed a full course of secondary education. Over 350 senior students are enrolled at present, in one of four different fields of study, History of Art, History and Culture of Kraków, Psychology of Maturity, or Healthy Lifestyle and Prevention of Diseases of Civilisation. Jagiellonian Senior Students have weekly lectures by eminent academics, and seminars or workshops on subjects like memory training, assertiveness, concentration enhancement, skills of negotiation, or first aid. Every Senior Student may elect to attend as many additional seminars as he or she wishes. The most popular are Comparative Religious Studies and classes on the history and culture of other parts of the world (the Balkans, China, Ukraine, the USA). Senior Students enjoy classes on philosophy, film studies, social anthropology, archaeology, literature, and law. There are groups of committed followers of the Science and Astronomy Section, the Memoir Writing Workshop, and the Painting Workshop. This mode of tuition is supplemented with open lectures on a wide range of subjects, language classes conducted by professional language tutors from the Jagiellonian Language Centre, and physical fitness classes.
Alma Mater 166