The Third Age Universities in the eyes of seniors

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The Third Age Universities in the eyes of seniors. Fot. Picture Art
The Third Age Universities in the eyes of seniors. Fot. Picture Art

The second edition research of students of Warsaw Third Age Universities (TAU) was conducted upon the initiative of the capital city hall. Conclusions will help to know the students expectations, it will also be an inspiration for persons involved in the development of Warsaw TAU to introduce some valuable changes.

The city invited all of the Warsaw universities co-financed from the funds of the City of Warsaw (19) to participate in the research. The number of students who participated in the last study amounted to 1359 persons. This means that, using the paper surveys, 28% of all TAU students have shared their opinions and assessments on functioning of those institutions.
Assessment of the TAU offer The vast majority of students positively assesses the aspects of functioning of the university such as manner of notifying about organized classes, events, meetings (82%), as well as the TAU secretary's office, authorities, organizers contact with participants (81%). Slightly less respondents positively perceives the accommodation conditions in institutions where classes are conducted (74%). The majority of students says they make use of knowledge and skills obtained in the course of classes organized in TAU in everyday life (85%). Almost all respondents stated that they would recommend participation in classes organized in University to persons of their age (97%).

The research conclusions
The majority of persons who participate in TAU classes has a university degree (56%). There is also a large group of persons with secondary education (41%). The source of income of almost all respondents is retirement or pension (99%).
The majority of the respondents enrolled in the university, following the willingness: to gain, expand knowledge, increase intellectual ability (83%), develop interests, (67%) and meet other people and to be among people (61%).
Statement of past classes offer with expectations of the students expressly shows that the present set of classes at TAU is consistent with the hierarchy of needs of the surveyed. The elderly show particularly great interest in cultural events, computer courses, recreational and improving classes, as well as integration events. According to the surveyed, the offer of these classes at TAU should be extended.

The areas requiring improvement
For every fourth student the fees for classes are difficult to cope with – 25% of the respondents indicates them as high. On the next place the students indicated the lack of a sufficient number of events, trips organized outside the university (15%).
The Contractor of research of students of Warsaw Third Age Universities was the PBS Sp. z o.o. research institute.

Support for Warsaw Third Age Universities The Capital City Hall increases the funds for subsidies for Third Age Universities. In the nearest future the city will finance 19 TAUs (since 2007-11 TAUs, this year Warsaw financed TAUs activities in the amount of PLN 721 000). In 2015 nearly 5 000 people benefited from the classes at TAU. In 2013-2016 the financial support of the City amounts to PLN 2 163 000.
The City of Warsaw was awarded for the Third Age Universities best financing system in the competition called "The local government most friendly to the education of elderly people and intergenerational integration".