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Summer Course

The Politics of Ageing

This three-week programme is suitable for professionals and students alike. Ageing is an urgent topic for all generations. Every year, the average life expectancy worldwide increases, and the number of children is decreasing. Due to this combination and growing urbanization and migration, family support is becoming an increasing burden. How can we unpack this complex interdisciplinary and intercultural topic to ensure a proper future for all ages?

How to apply

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 30 June - 18 July
Housing dates: 28 June - 22 July
Academic fee: € 1575
Housing fee: € 500 and € 75 refundable deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in ageing. For working professionals with a desire to continue their education in this field.
Academic director: Caroline van Dullemen
Early application deadline: 10 January 2019
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2019


Programme information

Ageing is a global topic of urgent importance: The United Nations estimates that by 2050, over 1.2 billion older people will be wihtout a secure income, unless drastic actions are taken. Today, average global life expectancy according to the World Health Organization is 71.4 years, and steadily increasing. The average number of children per family is 2.4 worlwide. The 21st century has often been termed "The Century Ageing" due to the combination of declining birth rates and an increasing life expectancy: along with growing urbanization and migration, family support for older people is becoming an increasingly demanding obligation worldwide. As a result, ageing is often framed in terms of "crisis". In this programme, we will explore the interdisciplinary and intercultural dynamics of ageing to better understand our inevitable global, intergenerational, future.

This three-week interdisciplinary program will address important questions: what are the implications of demographic transition for an ageing population? How do governments, civil society, business and households deal with the risks of old age poverty in various regions of the world? What are the specific needs of older people and how do we care for them? In what way is the intergenerational contract under threat regarding social security and care?

By the end of the program, students will have an in-depth overview of global ageing and regional trends in relation to socio-economic, political, and cultural responses. The first broad overview of the first week will be complemented by a week of specific thematic case studies on technology, housing, health and long-term care, financial literacy, and micropensions. These topics cut across regional debates and provide important moments and spaces for reflection.

We will address a variety of topics, including changing global demographics, social and economic inequality, health and wellness, and technological developments.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • Afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, and city excursions).

Participants will also have either an excursion to another city, or the final presentations for their programme during class days or on Fridays.

Credit Transfer

As a summer programme student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the University of Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at

The Politics of Ageing
Mode Short-term
Credits ECTS,
Language of instruction English