What is a University of the Third Age
U3A stands for University of the Third Age. The word “university” is used in the original
meaning – a group of like-minded people gathered together for discussion; it became a
movement based on self-help and mutual aid – a kind of “intellectual democracy”.
The idea for U3A began in 1972 in Toulouse, France. Seniors attended university lectures as
passive listeners. When the idea crossed to Britain the concept changed. All members of U3A
groups participate and each person may be a tutor one day, a class member the next.
Everyone is a volunteer. The British model is how U3As operate in Australia.
U3A has become a worldwide movement, found in the USA, South America, across Europe and in Asia. They may not all be called U3A, but the concept is the same – seniors gathering together for shared learning experiences, sports and social activities.
For access to information on other U3As in Victoria contact U3A Network Victoria at www.u3avictoria.com.au