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Learning Organisations for Older People: comparing models of learning in the University of Third Age (U3A) in the UK and the Senior University (SU) in Korea

Jun, S; Evans, K; (2014) Learning Organisations for Older People: comparing models of learning in the University of Third Age (U3A) in the UK and the Senior University (SU) in Korea. World Studies in Education , 15 (2) pp. 53-72. 10.7459/wse/15.2.04. Green open access

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Abstract

Despite the low priority given to the general education of older people in public policy, various learning programs for older people have been developed in many countries in the non-statutory sector, focusing on non-credit learning and the academic development of older people. One of the largest non-credit learning institutions for older people in the UK is the University of the Third Age (U3A), which was established in 1981 to provide general education services for older people. Its counterpart in South Korea is the Senior University (SU), which was created by the Korean Older People’s Association (KOPA) in 1981. U3A and SU’s cultures of learning are compared: the mutual aid or self-help model and organization-led welfare model; the informal learning orientation and formal learning orientation; the andragogical and pedagogical models; the buffet or cafeteria style and set-menu style; horizontal and vertical teacher-student relationships and bottom-up and top-down management styles. Contextualised analysis of all these differences shows how U3A has grown from the tradition of liberalism and self-help in the UK whereas In South Korea SU is based on the tradition of collectivism and Confucianism. The members of the U3A have a middle-class background and culture, and so dominantly feel more comfortable with an academic, discourse-based form of learning, while the SU members had a 'Botongsaram (ordinary man) culture' in which they prefer practical activities and pastimes (such as music and dancing) to academic subjects. The paper discusses ways in which cultures of learning can be understood from the perspective of the third age group, so as to develop different learning models to satisfy the diverse interests of older adults in third age learning.

Type: Article
Title: Learning Organisations for Older People: comparing models of learning in the University of Third Age (U3A) in the UK and the Senior University (SU) in Korea
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7459/wse/15.2.04
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7459/wse/15.2.04
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Korea; Senior University; U3A; UK; comparative education; lifelong learning; older adults; third age
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041740
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