Where does the project come from?

The University Programme “José Saramago” (PUJS) 50 plus offers an alternative to all those who find pleasure in studying and who consider that it is never too late to learn. This initiative is mainly aimed at people over the age of fifty who wish to complete their intellectual training and hundreds of students from Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Toledo and Talavera de la Reina have already benefited from it and have been enriched culturally and humanly.

The University of Castile-La Mancha, through this programme, provides an answer to those who believe that the years are no obstacle to continue asking questions. The University offers alternatives to all those people who, with or without previous higher education, find pleasure in study and knowledge. It is never too late to learn: it all depends on people and their willingness to learn. It is a response to the intent of UNESCO’s World Declaration on Higher Education for the 21st Century, which stated that higher education should be open to adult learners in a flexible, open and creative way. The reports of the Club of Rome and the Delors Report are also along the same lines, advocating lifelong learning, without limits of space or age, which responds to the profound need for culture and updating of adults who now enjoy greater longevity and wish to make the most of it. There are many different reasons for integrating these programmes into the university structure: demographic (the demographic decline will lead to a greater heterogeneity of ages and origins), economic (people over 50 will play a fundamental role in economic and financial structures in the coming years), as well as encouraging the development of scientific and cultural training activities that favour generational encounters and exchanges.

In this sense, PUJS 50 plus goes beyond covering alternative training needs. We wish to meet the demands of a world in which older people cannot remain on the margins of society but must be involved in it as a way of promotion and improvement, both personally and collectively. Furthermore, the University, as the alma mater of society, must carry out a continuous task of cultural development and training that helps citizens to understand and adapt to the accelerated changes that characterise our times.

The teaching approach of this educational programme aims to incorporate university academic methods, adapted to the particular needs of adults, which prioritise the active participation of students in the learning process. The essential aims pursued are as follows:

  • To involve students in the definition of objectives and activities.
  • To encourage teamwork
  • Stimulate active student learning through information-seeking activities, individual and group work and an evaluation system that stimulates student progress.
  • Satisfy the diversity of students’ interests and aspirations.
  • Gradually incorporate the use of new information and communication technologies in the development of teaching.

The assessment mechanisms applied are aimed at achieving the following objectives:

  • To incentivise and stimulate learning
  • To recognise personal work
  • To avoid discouragement or the feeling of failure.
  • Based on these objectives, each teacher will establish flexible mechanisms that can be adapted to the particularities of each student.


Raquel Cervigón Abad. Profesor Titular de Universidad. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Coordinadora y Profesora del Programa Universitario “José Saramago” 50 plus de la UCLM.

Laura Villar García. Profesora Asociada UCLM. Profesor en el CEPA Lucas Aguirre. Profesora en el Programa Universitario “José Saramago” 50 plus de la UCLM.