The German Anti-discrimination Agency (ADS) has declared 2012 the Year Against Age Discrimination. Under this framework, an Experts Committee presided by Dr. Henning Scherf has been working in the last months to present a series of concrete actions and recommendations to reduce age discrimination in Germany.
These recommendations were presented by the committee on December 4th in Berlin. The document, entitled "Jointly against discrimination: For a fair participation of the younger and older people", has been prepared by experts from social organisations, unions and the academic world under the scientific guidance of Gerontology professor Dr.Gerhard Naegele. Among other suggestions, the Experts Committee advises German authorities, companies and organisations to reduce age limits in volunteering, as well as to reassess age-related wage limits. They also recommend eliminating individual supplementary income limits for early pensioners.
"The topic of age discrimination is still not visible to many. However, the recommendations show that this has to change" said Christine Lüders from the German Anti-discrimination Agency, who appeals stakeholders to implement the proposals.
According to a survey commissioned by the ADS, every fifth German (21 percent) has experienced age discrimination. The Experts Committee’s recommendations may be downloaded here (in German). More information about the ADS Year Against Age Discrimination available at www.im-besten-alter-immer.de.
The closing conference of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in France that took place on 17-18 December at the Palais des Congrès in Paris was a great success. The event brought together nearly 200 people during a day and a half.
From the opening, strong emphasis was placed on the importance of the transfer of skills and mutual benefits from experiences related to active ageing. One of the conference's recurrent themes was the generation contract (contrat de génération) commitment that the new government took during the presidential campaign, and which was presented at the opening by Emmanuelle Wargon, Delegate General for Employment and Vocational Training, This new initiative allows the hiring, under permanent contract, of young people who will be accompanied by a senior himself kept in his job until his retirement. This ambitious initiative aims at 500,000 beneficiaries: 250,000 young people and 250,000 seniors.
The role of companies was particularly in the spotlight during the event as another part of the agenda was devoted to the presentation of the Trajectoire Trophies, awards which recognise companies implementing action plans for seniors. In addition, a series of workshops led to a reflection on the central themes of the campaign:
- Ageing Well, how to improve the prevention of loss of autonomy?
- The adaptation of society with an ageing population, a necessary condition for age management.
- Associations, obligatory stakeholders in active ageing
- What are the challenges of work for all ages?
- How new technologies can improve the living conditions of the elderly?
- Coordination and partnerships, a leverage for the players in active ageing
Ralph Jacob, Head of Unit from the European Commission DG Employment, and Jean-Pierre Bultex, Vice President of AGE Plateforme Europe, contributed to the event. Finally, after the presentation of various ministers from other Member States, which allowed a comparison of practices in the EU, Michèle Delaunay, French Minister Delegate for Elderly People and Adult Care, conducted the closure of the event, recalling the importance given by the government to issues of active ageing.
Picture gallery of the event. Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in France. For more information about the European Year 2012 in France you may visit this website.
Europe's coming of age: Europeans are now living longer than ever before with significant implications for the sustainability of pensions, economic growth and the future labour supply. The increased lifespan, on average 8-9 years more than in 1960, is great news - particularly if accompanied by more years in good health - but also poses many questions for individuals, their families and social systems. How long do I need to work? Can I even afford to retire? Does society recognise my contribution in providing care and volunteering?
Conditions at work - what needs to change in the workplace to keep older workers
For most people work is not only a source of income but also an important aspect of their personal identity and their social life. When workers grow older, the positive elements of work often retain their importance, but for many it becomes more difficult to do their jobs. The latest findings from the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS 2010) provide some good news in this respect: they show that the percentage of workers in the EU27 that think they will be able to do their current job at the age of 60 has risen marginally from 57% in 2000 to 59% in 2010.
Working after retirement - a growing phenomenon
Over the past five years employment rates among workers aged 65 to 74 years increased by 15% in the EU27 (Eurostat, 2011). Most people in this age group are pensioners, demonstrating that it has become more common for pensioners to take on paid employment. There are two reasons why pensioners are increasingly involved in paid work. First, many want to work. This group sees work as a way to contribute to society, to be in contact with others, and to keep active. Improved health among pensioners has contributed to the growth of this group. Second, many pensioners need to work. For them, income after retirement from state pensions, occupational pensions, accumulated savings and other sources is just too low.
Impact of the recession - older workers are less affected
Keeping older employees in the workforce for longer has been at the heart of national and European policies since the late 1990s. These policies have had an impact. Employment rates for older workers aged 55 to 64 have increased considerably over the last ten years, from 38% to 47% (Eurostat, 2000–2010). Recessions tend to hit younger workers especially hard, and this recession has been no exception. However, Eurofound research reveals that employment of older workers in the EU has increased in all types of jobs, and especially in the health, education and social work sectors.
Demographic change - its impact on Europe
Europeans are living longer than ever before, nearly ten years more than in 1960. The increased lifespan is great news but also poses many questions for individuals, their families and social systems. Other demographic developments reinforce the challenges: fewer children are being born, which means fewer people are paying into state pension and healthcare systems, and there is a smaller pool of potential carers. Europe's population growth is still fuelled mainly by immigration. Non-EU citizens have been joining EU countries at a rate of one to two million per year and intra-EU mobility has also increased. By 2060 the proportion of migrants and their descendants will have doubled (Eurostat, 2011).
National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) holds meeting for recognition reviews
Accrediting organizations scheduled for review during the two-day meeting were:
Petitions for Renewal of Recognition of Accrediting Organizations
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
- American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
- American Board of Funeral Service Education
- Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
- Distance Education and Training Council
- Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
- Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education
- North Central Association of Colleges and School, The Higher Learning Commission
Staff reports are available on the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Website. Of the 13 non-governmental accrediting organizations before the committee, six were presenting petitions for renewal of recognition and seven were presenting compliance reports for renewal of recognition. The committee followed staff recommendations in most cases. A summary of the committee's deliberations will likely be posted to the NACIQI Website later this winter.
EU-DRIVERS: Universities and Regional Innovation, A Toolkit to Assist with Building Collaborative Partnerships
This report cites case studies suggesting that key to building the capacity of regional partnerships are key individuals in universities, business and public authorities who have the knowledge (know what) and skills (know how) to work across the boundaries of their organisations, to be effective boundary spanners.
Chapters of the report include: The pilot innovation partnership projects; Building a community of practice; Overcoming barriers to the development of strong regional partnerships; and Creating and sustaining spaces.
The key task for the EU-Drivers for a Regional Innovation Platform has been to establish and pilot a methodology to support capacity building for collaborative working in current regional projects involving universities, business and public authorities.
For more information, follow this .
Report on the International Seminar on Innovative Approaches to Doctoral Education and Research Training in sub-Saharan Africa
This document reports on the outcomes and recommendations that were issued at the Seminar on Doctoral Education and Research Training in Sub-Saharan Africa, co-organised by the and the . Hosted by the at , the seminar took place on July 12th and 13th, 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The report summarises the suggested steps for future action to improve doctoral education in Africa. These outcomes were presented in San Juan during the .
For more information, follow this .
The first Charter on Biodiversity in Higher Education and Research Institutions was presented On 17 October 2012, during the annual meeting on sustainable development of the and the .
The objectives of the Charter are well beyond the simple ecological management areas of the campus, and the tools allow the participating institutions to voluntarily go further by addressing all aspects relating to biodiversity.
The operational tools for the Charter come from CPU, CGE and other consultations conducted with members of Sustainable Development commissions.
Institutions have until the end of the year to amend the draft charter.
For more information, follow this .
For that purpose, it offers technical assistance during 10 months, including training for authorities, teachers, and leading students of selected institutions; scholarships to participate in the that will take place in Buenos Aires next August; all material needed for the training; and participation on an international research program about service-learning.
For more information follow this .
The initial draft of the portal will be improved in the next few months thanks to comments received. IAU Members are invited to send information on initiatives they would like to see featured on the portal.
For more information, follow this .
Proposal for the creation of an Association of Conferences of Rectors of Latin American universities
The goal for this Association would be to bring together all the public and private universities of each country to improve the quality of education and harmonize the higher education systems of the continent.
During the first semester of 2013 the most important entities of Latin America will get together to improve this proposal.
For more information follow this (in Spanish).