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World experts meet at the UA to draft innovative guidelines and recommendations for lifelong learning centres

Universities, business world, trade unions, associations, local and regional authorities will benefit from the results of BALL, a European Union Erasmus +  Project.  



Alicante, 23 October 2015

The University of Alicante will host from Monday, 26 October 2015 the  Fourth Steering Committee Meeting of the BALL Project - Be Active through Lifelong Learning, where 45 world experts and researchers will meet on Monday and Tuesday (26 and 27 October).

BALL is a European Erasmus + project developed by the UA Vice President for Studies Planning, Training Actions & Quality Standards, within the context of the UA LifeLong Learning University, with the ultimate goal of analysing the state of readiness for retirement of European citizens. The team working on this project, funded by the EU, is composed of organisations with extensive experience in working with the elderly in three European countries. In the context of the meeting on 26th, the Fourth Steering Committee Meeting will take place among whom representatives of various professional areas and private and public institutions,as well as experts from the fields of Geriatrics, Gerontology, Sociology, Psychology, Education for adults, and various business and professional sectors will share their ideas and assess the proposals for action and the guidelines resulting from this fourth strategic meeting of experts.

The project addresses the urgent need for guidelines and practice on  how best to prepare individuals towards seniority at an early stage of their life with an emphasis on learning, the environment and cultural atmosphere, and sharing knowledge. This is an innovative approach that has not been tried before. Results are aimed at all agents interested in providing training to citizens, members or employees who are close to their third age.

During the meeting, representatives of partner institutions of the project and members of Iceland (U3A Reykjavik and Evris Foundation Ses) Poland (Towarzystwo Wolnej Wszechnicy Polskiej Oddzial w Lublinie) and Spain (UA) will discuss the progress made in the second phase of research in this project, which will be focussed on the analysis and approval of the results of a first individualised study (and  later on, compared) on the state of affairs on preparing citizens for retirement and their entry into the third age in each country and in the European Union. Experts will discuss the results from these three contexts as well as the results of a survey conducted between February and May 2015.



Questionnaires were sent to a total of 20,384 people in all countries; 16,384 were contacted by email and the rest were given the survey on paper. Of 20.58% of respondents (4,196 people), 2,790 were women and 1,406 men. Although the goal was to have a balanced gender distribution, the results reflect the actual distribution of the population and how women's longer life expectancy skewed the sample in this population. As for their pension status, 2,655 of respondents were non-retirees and 1,541 were already retired. The goal is to provide an exhaustive analysis on the state of preparation for retirement among the population today.

The main objective of the project is to develop innovative guidelines and recommendations for their use in lifelong learning centres; universities; companies; trade unions; associations; local and regional authorities who need and want to prepare and encourage people under this project to get ready for their retirement and seniority. The project results define in advance the age group of 50-70 (the "baby boom" generation) as the target group of this project, whose results will be used to raise awareness about these important issues and disseminate the results throughout the European Education Area and the Third Age University Network worldwide.

The meeting will be held in the Alicante city University Venue, at Avda. Ramon y Cajal, 4. This is the second time that the UA host this strategic meeting.



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