University and Society
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University and Society

Interdependencies and Exchange

Edited by Ágnes Kövér and Gaby Franger

What role can the university play in the broader community or society in which it is embedded? Must it remain segregated in the halls of science and knowledge, which tower above the community? This book examines the growing number of questions and concerns around university-community relations by exploring widely accepted theories and practices and placing them under new light.
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Chapter 12: University of the Third Age

Gábor Hegyesi and Katalin Talyigás


A number of universities in Western Europe responded to the demand for lifelong learning in the years following 1970, and this development emerged quite a few years later in Hungary. Answering a community initiative, in 2012 ELTE opened educational opportunities to the growing populations of both older people and, especially, older alumni of the university. The chapter depicts the process of elaborating teaching programs in a participative way, including new older students in selecting the subjects and the topics of the courses. The participation of the new (older) students improved their relations and enriched their social experiences. The traditional student and faculty cohorts benefited from the co-operation as well. This chapter introduces the associated ongoing research on this important university–community innovation. The research on the program and its impact on participants is summarized and discussed.

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