PERMANENT UNIVERSITY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALICANTE
The Permanent University is a scientific, cultural and social program that is developed by the University of Alicante and is aimed at promoting not only Science and Culture, but inter-generational relationships as well, with a view to improving the quality of life that the older generation enjoys and encouraging their active participation in dynamic social and community activities throughout the province. The Province of Alicante, situated on the south-east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, belongs to the Valencian Community. The Permanent University was inaugurated in 1999 and has approximately 1,454 students scattered among its 2 university centres at which a programme of 174 different courses are conducted, all complimented by a wide range of cultural activities in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Vice-chancellor of Studies Planning and Training Actions. The programme’s most outstanding feature is its great dynamism and its active student participation. The UPUA objectives are: contribute to older adults’ continuous adaptation process to our fast-changing society. develop new learning approaches using information and communication technology (ICT). respond to such needs as: the democratization of knowledge, the reduction of social injustices, the social integration and participation, and the generation of opportunities to extend active life outside normal work settings. The formal academic programme is complemented with a wide range of activities that includes seminars and workshops, lectures, extra-curricular activities and the participation in national as well as international projects. It is precisely in that context where UPUA accumulates a broad experience, as it has been taking part ever since 2002 in different European projects related to new technologies, active ageing and quality-of-life improvement, health, learning methodologies, cultural integration, heritage and linguistic exchange, analysis and assessment of university programmes for seniors and coaching: EuCoNet, SENNET, ELiLL, SENIOR, EHLE, Lifestyles Revisited, LICO, PPS, BALL and TICTac+55. The areas of main competence and experience at UPUA are: Health training for active ageing, Integration of adults in New Technologies and Languages (English, French and German), Social, cultural and territorial integration in the EU, Innovative methodologies in older adult training, Social inclusion, Trainers' training, International Relations (integration of foreign students and contact with other institutions in order to promote the relations between students). As for relationships with other institutions, it deserves to be highlighted that UPUA belongs to several highly active associations dedicated to older adult training, both at a regional and at a national level, as well as internationally. It has been a member of AEPUM ([Spanish] National Association of University Programmes for Seniors) since its creation in 2004 and, from 2010, it has occupied the presidency of this association formed by 45 universities with over 50,000 students. It is likewise a member of XPUM-CV (Network of University Programmes for Seniors of the Valencian Autonomous Region) and Xarxa Lluis Vives (Association of Universities located in Catalan-Speaking Territories). At an international level, it belongs to IAUTA (International Association of Universities of the Third Age) and EFOS (European Federation of Older Students at Universities).