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Our Story

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University was originally founded in 2000 as the Tufts Institute for Learning in Retirement (TILR). In 2003, to reflect the institute's interest in participants near retirement, as well as those already retired, the name was changed to the Tufts Institute for Lifelong Learning (TILL).

In 2005, following receipt of a naming grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Institute became the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University (OLLI).

In 2019, OLLI was restructured within Tufts to be part of the newly formed University College, a school dedicated to serving people at all points in their educational journey.

Our Mission

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University is committed to encouraging and promoting collaborative peer learning. In peer learning, members share their knowledge and experience with one another; they create, coordinate and participate in study groups. Study group leaders (SGLs) organize and lead the study groups. The result of a cooperative effort of members and SGLs is a rich and dynamic interactive learning environment to which all contribute and from which all gain a sense of accomplishment. The object is for the group to "create" and "share" knowledge within the group, rather than have knowledge transmitted from teacher to students.

The Program is:

  • guided by university policies and procedures

  • responsive to members' interests

  • a reflection of an array of interests

  • a reflective collaboration with appropriate University units

  • learning-based on participatory models

  • always encouraging innovation and experimentation to tap into nontraditional models