The University of the Third Age
What is u3a?
u3a is a nationwide network of learning groups aimed at encouraging older people to share their knowledge, skills and interests in a friendly environment
There are no exams and no homework, just regular lessons or study groups. It’s learning for fun, not with the aim of gaining qualifications
Who can attend u3a classes?
There are no age limits but the u3a is for people ‘no longer in full time work’ –retired or semi-retired. For this reason, it attracts a lot of members aged 50 and over. There is, however no lower-age membership
Where are u3a classes held?
u3a aims to be as accessible as possible – classes are held in various locations. Groups meet either at somebody’s home, or in a room in a local library, church or community centre: https://www.u3a.org.uk/get-involved/join
If you live in an isolated town, are unwell or have difficulty leaving your home, you may prefer Virtual u3a. This is an online learning and discussion forum for older people around the world. U3a also offer a wide range of events and workshops on subjects as diverse as Hadrian’s Wall, Philosophy and Sport, and Cryptic Crosswords: https://www.u3a.org.uk/events/educational-events
What can I learn at a u3a class?
There’s a wide range of subjects you can learn at u3a and on Virtual u3a. These include:
- literature and language
- computer and digital technology skills.
Sometimes u3a groups arrange trips to museums, concerts or theatres
If there’s enough demand in your area for a certain subject, you can start up a group yourself
Each group has its own volunteer leader or co-ordinator who has a particular interest or expertise in the particular subject
For language classes, most of the group leaders tend to have specialist knowledge, or they may be native speakers of the language they’re teaching
How much does a u3a class cost?
Each u3a class is different, so membership fees vary. The fees are often lower than those of most adult education courses because each u3a is run by volunteers
Find your local u3a on the u3a website to find out how much they charge
What are you waiting for? Join U3a today!