Third age learning: adapting the idea to a Thailand context of lifelong learning

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Publication details

Ratana-Ubol, A & Richards, C 2016, 'Third age learning: adapting the idea to a Thailand context of lifelong learning', International Journal of Lifelong Education, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 86-101.

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The concept of the university of the third age (U3A) is well established overseas and a key international focus for emerging global networks of senior citizen (i.e. seniors) lifelong learning. However it is yet to become so in Thailand although it too is in the process of becoming an ageing society. Moreover, this is despite the extent to which community learning centres and related agencies of non-formal as well as formal learning are popular and generally well-established in the local context. This paper investigates the reasons for possible local resistance to the U3A concept. It will do so as a basis for exploring the idea of reframing local efforts to promote seniors lifelong learning in terms of a wider and cross-culturally convergent concept of ‘third age learning’. In this way the paper will further consider some of the interesting, relevant and transferable global implications of the local dilemma regarding the U3A concept in a fast-changing world of increasing uncertainty in work, security, and other aspects of life.