The Transformation Of Older Adult Educational Organizations In Taiwan
Taiwan has officially entered the stage of an aged society in 2018, it means 1 out of every 7 people aged over 65 years. To raise the quality of life of the seniors, the Ministry of Education (Taiwan)has supported to set up 104 active aging learning centers (AALCs) in 2008, and the number of AALCs has grown to 363 by the end of 2018. The people who are over 55 years old can come and learn the knowledge to reach better and healthier older adulthood, the participation of older learners increases each year from 2009 to 2016. However, the AALCs has to find out more resources to meet the increasing number of older adult learners, as well as the limitations of the government budget constraint. Therefore, some AALCs have been transformed from older adult educational organizations to social enterprises. The aims of this study were to explore the triggers and the difficulties encountered in this transformative process. This research employed qualitative approach and the researchers conducted one-on-one in-depth semi-structured interviews with 15 directors to explore their experiences. The findings showed that: 1. The triggers of an older adult educational organization becoming a social enterprise were as follows. The participants were confident of their educational programs or products that can be promotedto the public; the AALCS didn’t receive sufficient resources from public sectors, and the directors haddesires to serve more people in the community. 2. The difficulties encountered in this transformation included that the interviewees were not familiar with the related regulationsabout setting up a social enterprise; the directors didn’t not haveeffective marketing skills to promote their products, and they didn’t have enough manpower to management a social enterprise.
Keywords - Aged society, older adult education, social enterprises, Active Aging Learning Centers (AALCs)