The Making of Age-Friendly Universities: A Scoping Review

Jed Montayre, Della Maneze, Yenna Salamonson, Josh D.L. Tan, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The age-friendly university (AFU) initiative embodies the collaborative efforts of promoting age inclusivity and diversity in higher education, embracing lifelong learning and civic participation in older people. This scoping review aims to explore the conceptualization of AFU, the experiences, and the strategies used in operationalizing the AFU principles of participating universities in becoming members of the age-friendly university network. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A search of peer-reviewed papers published from 2012 to July 2021, conducted in nine databases using JBI scoping review methodology, found 1,752 articles. Of these, 13 papers were eligible for inclusion. RESULTS: Three themes were identified as key to becoming an AFU: (a) interdisciplinary collaboration within the university; (b) strong partnership with the community; and (c) alignment with global priorities and initiatives. Furthermore, identifying barriers to physical access in universities, such as signage, walkways, and transportation, addressing the less tangible issues of ageism and promoting intergenerational learning were essential to promote engagement of older people. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: This review underscores the need for a multidisciplinary approach within the university, the reciprocal benefits of authentic university-community collaborations, and the advantages of harnessing international resources and global influence to becoming an AFU. Although the principles of the AFU remain aspirational, the ideals championed by the pioneering universities in the AFU network brought the mutual benefits of intergenerational learning, the challenges and support required for older learners to the fore, propelling the AFU agenda forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1319
Number of pages9
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Age diverse
  • Age inclusive
  • Education
  • Intergenerational
  • Lifelong learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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