As president of I.A.U.T.A. (The International Association of Universities of the Third Age), I would like to welcome all current members of our association as well as future members.
I.A.U.T.A. brings together the universities of the third age from all the continents. For four decades I.A.U.T.A. has been defending elderly people¡¯s cause through life-long education by means of university exchanges and, above all, innovations in the fields of education and scientific research in order for everyone to find their place in society.
As President of I.A.U.T.A. for the next four years, with the participation of all, I would like to take a long-term look at our goals and accomplishments:
In the field of education, a U3A Pedagogical Committee can be established by organizing seminars and workshops open to the public. During these seminars, educational innovations carried out by certain universities of ours could be presented to the public in order to share this information with all those interested. I am thinking, in particular, of those innovations regarding language courses, culture and, of course, pedagogical skills.
In the field of scientific research, the I.A.U.T.A. Scientific Board must be immediately reestablished in order to set up a scientific activity program every two years which will give rise to new reference publications of I.A.U.T.A. In particular, scientific work needs to be developed in several disciplines so that our members in the medical fields as well as those in the economic, legal, literary and scientific fields can benefit. Scientific research is priority, and the ¡°I.A.U.T.A. Research Books¡± can serve as a link between all of us.
In order to create international recognition of our association, I suggest creating ¡°Regional Chapters¡± based on means and communication between geographic regions that will group the U3As according to the main regions of the world. This will have both a positive effect on local initiatives as well as reinforce the ties between regions. Initially, four chapters can be established: Europe, North America, Latin America, and East Asia.
Dear friends of the Universities of Thrid Age, these are ambitious propositions that require the contribution of all of us in order for our association to play a role that should be essential throughout the world. So again ¡°Welcome¡± to all of our members at I.A.U.T.A. as well as those who will read our site and wish to join us, and to you as well, ¡°Welcome¡±.
Professor François VELLAS