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Government and Elderly Commission to expand Elder Academy Scheme

The following is issued on behalf of the Elderly Commission:

    The Elderly Commission and the Labour and Welfare Bureau will expand the Elder Academy Scheme to offer more learning opportunities for elders.

    In addition to lending support to the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education's proposed Elder Academy programmes, the authorities invited interested parties to open more elder academies in primary and secondary schools.

    Speaking after the Elderly Commission's meeting today (June 13), commission chairman Dr Leong Che-hung said that as a result of the overwhelming response to the scheme, the authorities would like to invite interested bodies to set up more elder academies in schools to promote lifelong learning and active ageing among elders.

    A total of 32 elder academies have already been established by schools and organisations in the territory, offering about 5,000 places for elders. With the help of various sectors and people of different generations, the elder academies aim to encourage elders to continue learning, take care of their well-being, have a sense of worthiness as well as to promote civic education, inter-generational solidarity and cross-sectoral collaboration.

    Based on the operation mode of existing elder academies, the new academies will seek the help of various sectors and people of different generations in running study programmes. Interested schools, sponsoring bodies and non-governmental organisations are invited to file an application for setting up an elder academy to the Secretariat of the Commission on or before July 25. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the Commission's website (

    "The commission suggested that the new elder academies should each set up a management committee and invite elders to join the committees. This will promote active ageing by giving them a chance to take part in administrative work and the planning of study programmes and activities," Dr Leong said.

    The commission will give $60,000 to the new academy as seed money, $50,000 of which should be used for setting up and running the academy and the remaining $10,000 for training elderly members of the management committee. For the established elder academies, those with an interest in setting up their own management committees will each be granted $10,000 for the task.

    "On the other hand, many elders look for a chance to study in universities while some others hope to enrol in academic and in-depth learning programmes. The commission and the Labour and Welfare Bureau have actively liaised with the tertiary institutions to establish elder academies in the campus."

    "Following the recent announcement by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Shue Yan University and the Lingnan University to support elder academies, the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education have submitted their elder academy programmes to the commission. We are very pleased that five tertiary institutions will offer elder academy programmes and allocate about 1,000 places for elders," he said.

    The City University and the Institute of Education will each receive $200,000 to run the programmes starting from 2008-09, so more elders will be able to fulfil their wish of receiving university education.

    "The proposed programmes of the institutes are very innovative. The City University will offer 200 sit-in places for elders to attend lectures with the youngsters. This will enable the two parties to enhance communication. The elders can share their experience with the young students and at the same time benefit from young people's fresh ideas and enthusiasm."

    "The Institute of Education will not only allow elders to attend more than 130 courses, but also arrange student teachers to take part in elder academies at primary and secondary schools to achieve the goal of all-rounded education," Dr Leong said.

    Elders who are interested in enrolling in the programmes of the two institutes may contact the City University of Hong Kong on 2788 7423 and the Hong Kong Institute of Education on 2948 8940/2948 7946.

Ends/Friday, June 13, 2008
Issued at HKT 16:55


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