seniors; The University of the Third Age; Cieszyn
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
A. Zawada, Ł. Tomczyk (red.), "Seniorzy w środowisku lokalnym : (badania empiryczne i przykłady dobrych praktyk)" (S. 153-165). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The author in his article presents activities of an important university of the third age
(U3A) in Cieszyn in the context of its geographical position as a borderland town characterised by multicultural traditions and a specific background. It is due to the town’s multiculturalism and and its progressive cultural traditions and the engagement of local leaders, nor rarely from the ranks of medical and academic milieus, that the U3A has flourished. The Cieszyn U3A consists of many sections and reached in 2010 about five hundred participants in its courses. In the Czech Republic exists minor organization of the Intergenerational Regional University (IRU) with activities among the Polish ethnic minority where it attempts to activate and consolidate local intelligentsia and to build intergeneration understanding. This IRU covers diverse lecture topics ranging from
history and culture to religion and regional issues. Among universities of the third age in other neighbour towns (Rybnik, Jastrzębie, Oświęcim, Bielsko Biała) the Cieszyn U3A characterises by specific themes, organization and methodology. The activities take place in small special interests groups, with a lot of physical exercises and artistic endeavours; the breadth of lectures is varied and rich. The existence of the third age university encounters unfavourable conditions undermined by state bureaucracy demands and insufficient financial means. Although activities of some seniors might bear traits of elitism or conformism, the number of the U3A members has risen slightly and the third age university ideals expand.