About Us
About Us
Message from Director
Three Strategic Areas
According to a 2012 United Nations report1, Hong Kong will rank number four on the list of countries with the oldest population in 2050. Hong Kong is at the threshold of a large demographic shift as the generation of baby-boomers start to retire. The number of older adults and the elderly will surge to 25% of the city’s total population in less than two decades’ time. Our ageing society will therefore see more of the challenges associated with the old, such as ill health, disabilities, and greater dependency. But we must not forget that it also brings about new opportunities, including the potential for more knowledge and wisdom transfer as well as more potential consumers from an often neglected but expanding pool of older human capital.

The Institute of Active Ageing (IAA), hosted by the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FHSS) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), views Hong Kong’s large, gradual demographic change as an excellent opportunity to support the city’s development into a society that is better equipped to meet the needs and potential of its ageing population. PolyU is an application-oriented tertiary education institution, with a long tradition of emphasizing the application of innovative research and practices for the betterment of society. It is therefore timely that the University, through the IAA, is taking a proactive stance to promote the notion of active ageing and to embrace the opportunities and challenges posed by an ageing society through interdisciplinary research, education and practice.

The IAA, which has been operating since September 2009, is committed to research excellence and innovation in the key areas of ageing, interdisciplinary education related to gerontology, and evidence-based practices for the promotion of active ageing. We adopt a unique and comprehensive model in the promotion of active ageing by encompassing knowledge from all fundamental dimensions of everyday life of an older adult.

The IAA brings together scholars, researchers, and practitioners from 23 disciplines across PolyU in the broad categories of health and human services, finance and business, policy and management, design, engineering and technology, environmental sciences and biotechnology, textiles and clothing, and leisure and recreation to create synergistic opportunities for innovating cutting-edge research on ageing and interdisciplinary educational programmes related to gerontology. We believe in engaging professionals in all private and public sectors, the general public, and older adults to collaborate in the city’s evolution towards active ageing.

With three interlocking, interdisciplinary strategic areas of research, education, and practice, our aims are:
• Research: To create a platform to encourage and pool together scholars and researchers of different professional disciplines to carry out interdisciplinary ageing research of common interest, such as in the areas of 'total wellness', 'age-friendly environments', and 'gerontechnology';
• Education” To create an interdisciplinary undergraduate programme on applied gerontology, which will prepare all-rounded professionals with the necessary competencies and attributes to meet the emerging needs of our ageing society and to be able to work with the diverse population of older adults;
• Practice: To offer credit-bearing courses and non-credit-bearing courses through our Mini-U for the Third Age Programme to encourage lifelong learning among older individuals. Our Association for the Third Age, which we run together with older adults, will further empower older members of society to attain healthy, independent, active ageing through facilitating their participation in lifelong education, volunteer work, and gainful employment.

IAA will continue to form partnerships with different stakeholders, including different industries, NGOs, professional bodies, and academic and research institutions overseas. We will also continue to expand our efforts, using practice as the basis to further empower active ageing adults in engaging with the rest of society and in their own health and well-being, especially in areas related to education and research development.
1United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013). World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, Highlights and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.228. (http://esa.un.org/wpp/documentation/pdf/wpp2012_highlights.pdf)