The University Programme we plan to pilot in 2016-17 is modeled on the work developed at TU, in Dortmund, Germany.
There the programme has run successfully for five years. See their website here.
The TU programme in Dortmund Germany
The TU programme provides a way to share the skills and knowledge of retired older people who are studying at the university with students from overseas attending the university.
The programme has continued without a break for 5 years. Minor modifications have been made to the way it operates based on the feedback from the original overseas students and their senior partners .
Each year there are about 20 mentors and 40-50 students involved in the programme.
They together work out what they want to achieve and how they will do this. The programme provides a personalised service for both overseas students and the ‘senior’ student.
Some visit other cities, cook together, and go on visits together. The pattern of input and exchange is varied and flexible and meets the needs of the participants. It is not prescribed by the university.
The overseas students have found the support for their studies of value.
The senior partners in the programme also value the opportunity to meet the students from many different countries and share their skills and knowledge with them. They feel valued and useful and they learn much from the students about other cultures.
Some outcomes have been observed in the form of lasting friendships in,cl visits to the overseas student’s own countries once they leave the university and some of the mentors have been invited to attend the weddings of the overseas students in their home countries.