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Can you be too old to enroll in a university?

When we talk about students, we instantly imagine young people (up to mid-twenties), yet it is hard to see an older person as a college student. Does it mean that only youth can enroll in a university? We can often hear people saying “I'm too old for this”, but is it true? Can you start over in college, or there is an age limit? Nowadays people react skeptically about the idea of going back to school at 40, there is a popular misconception that you can become a student only at a young age, but that`s not so.
There are different ways for older people to receive education, even online, so do not be afraid to change your life, even when you are not as young as you want to. Forget about “how old are freshman” and start your way as a student.

Peculiarities of education for older people

The peculiarities of training people in the age explored physiologists. They showed the difference between the work of the brain of elderly people, unable to memorize the material, and suggested how this can be overcome.
Experts from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience are trying to solve the problem of learning for elderly people. They set themselves the task of objectively assessing the ability of an aging brain to learn. The experiment was put on their own employees — from 39 to 59 years. They were asked to learn a certain amount of knowledge — it was a list of 20 pairs of words, in native and in foreign languages. Experimenters evaluated the time during which the employees memorized the entire list of words. As expected, the older they were, the more time it took. At the same time, in the older age groups, there were such people who could not remember the entire volume of the material. Scientists began to look for the reason, why these incapable (conditionally) differ from others.

The reason was in that older people have some difficulties in memorizing, because their brain has another structure that the ones of youngsters. It is a bit harder for them to do any writing or paper job. But if you read a papersowl review, you will see that people of any age can cope with such difficulties and receive the help of others. Reviews of other people will help you choose the way appropriate for you and to overcome the problems.

However, the conclusion that physiologists made based on their results is encouraging. They showed that the inability of some middle-aged people to fully memorize material is not a defect in their own thinking, but a dysfunction of the activating systems of the brain, which can be dealt with in one way or another. For example, if the testing situation itself causes stress in an adult learner, it can be replaced by self-testing. With a sufficiently high motivation and a developed sense of responsibility in adulthood, this will not affect the result. In other words - to study at the age of not only possible but also necessary. But you need to learn differently. And specialists need different approaches and special developments.

Online University

Passing distance courses, lasting several weeks each, allows students to gain new skills or improve their qualifications, and employers to find well-trained employees. Today, online e-universities are most common in the United States. It is a perfect way to receive knowledge of high quality without even going out from home. For such students, who are older than 40 years it is extremely convenient. First, there is no need to meet their young groupmates, and as a result, there will not be any disagreements or awkward situations. Secondly, you can easily work and do your everyday routine without attending university, so that you will not waste additional time.

As the experts said, not all e-universities offer a fundamental higher education, and their programs may seem to be somewhat superficial and insufficiently academic. But the task of these projects is on the other: on the one hand, to give access to high-quality knowledge to as many people as possible, and on the other hand, to encourage motivated students who are ready for serious training to come to universities.

The process of learning itself is based on the following scheme: the listener selects the desired course from the list and enrolls in it. Serious educational resources (such as, for example, Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera or edX) can offer several hundred courses from different areas of knowledge, the number of enrolled in one program can reach 30 thousand people and above. However, at the same time only 10-15 courses can go on one platform, so sometimes the start of the course of interest is required to wait. A week before the start, students receive relevant notices, and from the moment of the official start of training - access to the first training module.

Education in old age is the main tool for preserving the ability to socially adapt and integrate into society through obtaining information on a changing world on a systematic basis. The right to education - one of the fundamental human rights - cannot be limited on the basis of age, which implies its continuity and the possibility of continuation in old age. Today, a close relationship has been revealed between the level of education, the degree of involvement in the educational process and life expectancy. Renewal of knowledge in old age completely changes the habitual way of life, attitude to diseases and loss of certain functions.

The main criterion for education at the third age is the change in the quality of life. It is expressed in the appearance of a distinct feeling of satisfaction from communication and joint activities.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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