Italian Federation of the Universities of the Third Age (Federazione Italiana tra le univesità della Terza Età) (Federuni)
The Italian Federation among the Third Age Universities (FEDERUNI) was founded in 1982 in Turin and counts among its primary tasks that of supporting the Federated Universities. The aim of the Federation is to offer cultural and scientific support to its Universities, through meetings, organizing conferences and other initiatives but above all through publications on the problems of third age people and on the methodologies of the various disciplines. In this way the Federation solicits the partner members for reflection in order to improve the quality of life of mature people and to develop useful tools for the preparation of its teachers.
The Third Age Universities have developed in Italy since the Eighties and have multiplied through the initiative of cultural centers, trade unions, voluntary groups, associations, unlike many European countries where they were promoted by the Universities of Studies.
The Federuni now gathers about 200 Universities in Italy, with over 60 thousand students and with the contribution of about 5 thousand teachers. The federated offices are present in every Italian region and meet annually for an organizational conference, for regional/ inter-regional meetings and every three years for a national congress. Through the constant contacts with the federated offices it has been understood that the third age has become the fundamental period in which people finally feel fully accomplished and together can offer the society a significant contribution. The users of Third Age Universities are people who are fully effective, seeking to redefine their existence in the freedom and service of society. They are qualified people not so much from a school set but from their life experience. Through attendance they become more critical, more active, and ask for proposals aimed at their life choices, without disdaining the cultural study.