Within liberal economy museums will continue being cultural, pedagogical and scientific institutions with a strong focus on various target groups predominately approached as recipients of culture. By opening up to groups of school children, the blind, the deaf, older people, etc. museums recognize the equality of chances, but abstract cultural egalitarianism does not suffice and museums should become prominent actors in the field of social justice and equal distribution of chances. This is more tangible when museum target groups are also producers of culture.
SLOVENIAN Third Age University’s students are willing to study, conduct research, work and make their endeavours available for the benefit of community, on condition these are welcome and appreciated. The assumption is that older people’s learning and cultural voluntary work are not well understood and need to be combined, organised and supported by education and public campaigning. Consequently, cultural mediators and mediating were conceptualised at Slovenian Third Age University, museum staff and U3A’s students were animated. An educational programme on volunteering, active ageing and cultural mediating in museums was devised to enable both museum staff and older students, retired experts, to understand new social roles of older people in contemporary society, and older students to invest their time, knowledge and culture in the roles of cultural mediators: voluntary lecturers for specific audiences, researchers, co-authors of exhibitions etc.
Dr. Dušana Findeisen, is a professional expert for active ageing, intergenerational learning, volunteering and education of elderly people. In 1984, together with prof. dr. Ana Krajnc, they founded the Third Age University in Ljubljana, where she develops and explores third age education – its importance for the elderly and society.