Taste of DCU' - first of the university's age-friendly initiatives
Over 150 people attended DCU's first age-friendly event, 'Taste of DCU', which was held on the campus on Thursday 13 September 2012. The event was specifically organised for older adults from the local community and the greater Dublin Area.
Participants, who were all aged over 50, were offered a wide selection of lecture topics thoughout the day, ranging from 'The Irish Legal System', 'Blogging', and 'Terrorism and Political Violence' to 'Drugs and Freedom', 'Fun with Physics' and 'Cloud Computing'. Students were also offered sessions on how to maintain good cognitive health and on the health care system in Ireland.
The students were welcomed by DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith, and by Professor Maria Slowey, Chair of DCU's Age-Friendly University Working Group.
Welcoming the students, Professor MacCraith said that since its earliest days, DCU has worked to establish itself as an age-friendly university. "We want to be able to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our ageing society through our research, our curriculum and our engagement with the local community. We are also keen to promote intergenerational learning and want to promote an increased awareness of the complexity and richness that ageing brings to our society". He recognised that the cohort of people over 50 years constitute a major, but often, ignored resource, and that the Age-Friendly initiative at DCU aims to address this.
Professor Slowey said that the 'Taste of DCU' initiative builds on DCU's expertise in widening access to students from every category in life. "It gives students, who have never been to DCU, a taste of the different programmes that the university offers. We have been overwhelmed by the response today. The lecturing staff who gave the courses enjoyed it as much as the students".
Dr Des O'Neill, Gerontologist at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital and supporter of the Age-Friendly initiative, sent his best wishes for what he termed 'this radical and innovative step'.