Gerontology & Geriatrics Education Call for Proposals

Age-Friendly Universities (AFU): Principles, Practices, and Opportunities

Gerontology & Geriatrics Education

Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, the official journal of the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), is seeking proposals for papers on the Age-friendly University (AFU) initiative and how members of the global network of age-friendly institutions of higher education are striving to support aging education and lifelong learning.

Local, national, and global communities are witnessing unprecedented age shifts with the number of adults aged 65+ increasing annually at dramatic rates and more individuals experiencing increased longevity. Along with shifting age demographics, communities are also seeing a rise in the call for efforts that engage older adults in lifelong learning, purposeful work, supportive intergenerational relationships, active lifestyle choices, and attitudes toward aging that support positive aging, resilience, health, and well-being in later life. At the same time, despite these significant and widely recognized age shifts, students in higher education are seldom exposed to information about aging or interact with older individuals. Thus, many students graduate with a negligible awareness of aging issues and the value of intergenerational relations, entering personal and professional worlds in a state of age-deprivation. It is clear that our aging population is generating new demands, and it is imperative that our institutions of higher education rise to meet them.

The pioneering Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative offers a guiding framework for institutions to prepare to address these demands. The AFU initiative reflects the work of an international, interdisciplinary team convened by Professor Brían MacCraith, President, Dublin City University (DCU) to identify the distinctive contributions institutions of higher education can make in responding to the needs of an aging population. Launched by the Irish Prime Minister, (An Taoiseach) Enda Kenny in 2012, the AFU team identified 10 principles colleges and universities can use to evaluate and develop age-friendly programs and policies. AGHE endorsed the AFU principles in 2016, which have now been adopted by a growing network of AFU institutions in Ireland, the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and beyond.

The aim of this special issue is to provide an overview of the AFU initiative and how the 10 AFU principles can be used to map and assess age-friendly institutional efforts, as well as identify gaps and opportunities in programs and practices. To this end, papers should describe specific ways in which particular institutions have adopted the AFU framework and incorporated the principles into age-friendly educational efforts, along with offering commentary on challenges experienced and solutions recommended. Empirical evidence of AFU outcomes is encouraged, along with a discussion of how respective efforts can be applied in other institutional settings.

Submission Instructions

We invite you to submit a manuscript proposal, not to exceed 300 words. Proposals should be emailed to the Managing Editor, Dr. Kelly Niles-Yokum at by Friday, March 23, 2018.

Notifications will be made in early April and invited manuscripts must be completed and submitted via the journal’s Scholar One submission site by August 1, 2018.

The guest coordinator for this special issue is Joann M. Montepare, PhD ( who will assist the journal’s editorial staff in bringing the issue to publication.  

For information about the journal, please visit the journal’s website.

Editorial information