The age-friendly movement seen in cities and towns addressing the needs of their elder residents is also taking root on college campuses around the world.

The University of Massachusetts Boston this year joined other institutions adopting the principles of the Age-Friendly University initiative first proposed by Dublin City University in Ireland.

“The principles of Age-Friendly Universities fit well within the stated mission and values of UMass Boston as an urban campus committed to research, teaching and public service within a supportive environment for students of all ages,” said Nina Silverstein, a professor in the Gerontology Department at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School.

“We are well positioned to meet or, in some cases, even exceed some of the principles,” she said.

Last year, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) — the educational unit of The Gerontological Society of America — announced its endorsement of the 10 principles of the Age-Friendly University Initiative. The AGHE is working with Dublin City University now to develop resources to assist campuses in achieving age-friendly goals.

Silverstein, who currently serves as the president of AGHE, first presented the age-friendly university principles to the UMass Boston gerontology faculty last fall. That started a process that ultimately led to their adoption on the campus.

UMass Boston became the third American university to adopt the age-friendly principles. Universities in Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada, Australia and South Korea have also embraced them.

Universities that adopt the age-friendly principles make a commitment to work toward demonstrating the 10 principles, which are:

  • To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.
  • To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue second careers.
  • To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue master’s or PhD qualifications).
  • To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages.
  • To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation.
  • To ensure that the university’s research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to promote public discourse on how higher education can better respond to the varied interests and needs of older adults.
  • To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society.
  • To enhance access for older adults to the university’s range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities.
  • To engage actively with the university’s own retired community.
  • To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population.