Lifelong Learning in Later Life

Policies and Practices
  • Marvin Formosa
Part of the Research on the Education and Learning of Adults book series (ESRE)


Lifelong learning in later life has emerged as a decisive element in strategies advocating positive and active ageing (Formosa, 2012a). Suffice to remark that older adult learning has gained a constant presence in policy documents, ranging from international declarations such as the United Nations’ (2002) Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the European Commission’s (2006) Adult Learning: It’s never late to learn, to national statements such as Malta’s National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing: Malta 2014–2020 (Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, 2013).


European Commission Social Cohesion Policy Document Lifelong Learning Adult Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alfageme, A. (2007). The clients and functions of Spanish university programmes for older people: A sociological analysis. Ageing & Society, 27(3), 343–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alzheimer Disease International. (2010). World Alzheimer report 2010. Accessed 12/5/11 from:
  3. Bauman, Z. (2005b). Liquid life. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, G. D. (2006). The mature mind: The positive power of the aging brain. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Commission of the European Communities. (2002). Council resolution of 27 June 2002 on lifelong learning. Official Journal C 163/1, 1–3.Google Scholar
  6. European Commission. (2000). A memorandum on lifelong learning. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  7. European Commission. (2001). Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  8. European Commission. (2006). Adult learning: It is never too late to learn. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  9. European Commission. (2007). Action plan of adult learning: It is always a good time to learn. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  10. Faure, E. (Chair) (1972). Learning to be: The world of education today and tomorrow. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  11. Findsen, B. (2005). Learning later. Malabar, FL: Krieger.Google Scholar
  12. Findsen, B., & Formosa, M. (2011). Lifelong learning in later life: A handbook on older adult learning. Rotterdam: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Formosa, M. (2000). Older adult education in a Maltese University of the Third Age: a critical perspective. Education and Ageing, 15(3), 315–339.Google Scholar
  14. Formosa, M. (2007). A Bourdieusian interpretation of the University of the Third Age in Malta. Journal of Maltese Education Research, 4(2), 1–16.Google Scholar
  15. Formosa, M. (2012a). European Union policy on older adult learning: A critical commentary. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 24(4), 384–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Formosa, M. (2012b). Education for older adults in Malta: Current trends and future visions. International Review of Education, 58(2), 271–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Formosa, M. (2012c). Education and older adults at the University of the Third Age. Educational Gerontology, 38(1), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Formosa, M. (2014). Four decades of Universities of the Third Age: Past, present, and future. Ageing & Society, 34(1), 42–66.Google Scholar
  19. Hebestreit, L. (2008). The role of the University of the Third Age in meeting the needs of adult learners in Victoria, Australia. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48(3), 547–565.Google Scholar
  20. Hodkinson, P., Ford, G., Hodkinson, H., & Hawthorn, R. (2008). Learning as a retirement process. Educational Gerontology, 34(3), 167–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lister, R. (2003) Investing in the citizen-workers of the future: Transformations in citizenship and the state under New Labour, Social Policy and Administration, 37(5), 427–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Livingstone, D.W., & Raykov, M. (2013). Adult learning trends in Canada: Basic findings of the WALL 1998, 2004 and 2010 Surveys. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  23. McNair, S. (2009). Older people’s learning: An action plan. Leicester: NIACE.Google Scholar
  24. McNair, S. (2012). Older people’s learning in 2012: A survey. Leicester: NIACEGoogle Scholar
  25. Mercken, C. (2010). Education in an ageing society. Baarn, The Netherlands: Odyssee.Google Scholar
  26. Midwinter, E. (1996). U3A thriving people. The Third Age Trust: London.Google Scholar
  27. Morris, D. (1984). Universities of the Third Age. Adult Education, 57(2), 135–139.Google Scholar
  28. National Office of Statistics. (2009). Demographic review 2008. Malta: National Statistics Office.Google Scholar
  29. National Seniors Australia. (2010). Later life learning: Unlocking the potential for productive ageing. Canberra: National Seniors Australia Productive Ageing Centre.Google Scholar
  30. Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing. (2013). National strategic policy for active ageing. Malta: Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing.Google Scholar
  31. Percy, K., & Frank, F. (2011). Senior learners and the university: Aims, learning and ‘research’ in the third age. In S. Jackson (Ed.), Innovations in lifelong learning: Critical perspectives on diversity, participation, and vocational learning (pp. 126–141). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Phillipson, C., & Ogg, J. (2010). Active ageing and universities: Engaging older learners. London: Universities UK.Google Scholar
  33. Russell, H. (2008). Later life: A time to learn. Educational Gerontology, 34(3), 206–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rodrigues, R., Huber, M., & Lamura, G. (Eds.). (2012). Facts and figures on healthy and ageing a long-term care: Europe and North America. Vienna, Austria: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.Google Scholar
  35. Schuller, T. (2010). Learning through life: The implications for learning in later life of the NIACE Inquiry. International Journal of Education and Ageing, 1(1), 41–51.Google Scholar
  36. United Nations. (2002). Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Accessed 5/2/14 from
  37. Withnall, A. (2008). Lifelong learning and older persons: Choices and experiences. Teaching and Learning Research Briefing, 58, 1–4.Google Scholar
  38. Withnall, A. (2010). Improving learning in later life. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Workers Educational Association Northern Ireland and Age Northern Ireland. (2011) Stories of our age. Accessed 20/9/11 from:
  40. Wrosch, C., & Schulz, R. (2008). Health-engagement control strategies and 2-year changes in older adults’ physical health. Psychological Science, 19(6), 537–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Formosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Gerontology Unit, Faculty for Social WellbeingUniversity of MaltaMalta

Personalised recommendations