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'Pure enjoyment of learning': U of W offering courses for students over 55

The University of Winnipeg is offering a chance for those aged 55 and older to head back to school.

Following a short hiatus, the university is bringing back its 55-Plus Program this fall.

Through this program, students can choose from courses in a wide range of subjects, including history, religion, and film. The courses are taught in-person by experts in the field.

“We’ve gone full force on bringing back the 55-Plus Program to give people an opportunity for some lifelong learning opportunities,” said Jino Distasio, vice-president of research and innovation at the U of W.

“To take great courses on current issues, politics, film, theatre, even geography and history in a real, open environment,”

The courses run for six weeks and include one class per week.

There are no tests, assignments or exams, but rather a focus on learning, socialization and intellectual stimulation.

Distasio said it’s about coming to class and learning from the discussions and the exchange of ideas.

“The tests come between the instructors and the students, because there’s always wonderful questions, wonderful dialogue where the instructors put on a note that they’d better be at the top of their game too with the 55-plus students in the class,” he said.

Distasio said students, no matter their age, benefit from the comradery of being with other people and making connections.

“I think all of that adds up to turning loneliness into just a bit of enjoyment,” he said.

“I think sometimes we just forget about the pure enjoyment of learning.”

Distasio said he’s been teaching for years in the 55-Plus Program, and ends up learning alongside the students.

“That’s the real great part of it that everybody in that classroom brings so much experience,” he said.

Registration is now open, with winter courses set to be announced in the next few months.

- With files from CTV’s Ainsley McPhail. Top Stories

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