Back to the campus: lifelong experience of older learners in a university setting

Daniel W. L. Lai*, Emma H.S. Liu, Y. X. Ruan, Vincent W.P. Lee, Alison X.T. Ou, Z.Y. Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study focuses on older participants’ experiences of and views on a lifelong learning program at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. As many third age adults tend not to have the opportunity to receive tertiary education when they were young, this program aims to fulfil their dream of studying at a university and boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. Using qualitative research methods, this research was conducted after the MiniU program (supported by the Institute of Active Aging of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 participants after the program. While participants had acquired knowledge and experience of university life from the Mini-U program, they also reported concerns and difficulties with participation including difficulties in memorizing course content and financial difficulties. The program has offered a unique opportunity for enhancing participants’ interpersonal relationships and wellbeing. The research also further informs the development of creative lifelong learning programs aimed at improving the well-being of older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalGerontology and Geriatrics Education
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Lifelong-learning
  • older people
  • well-being


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