The University of the Third Age was born in France and was originally linked to universities offering retired / semi-retired people, i.e. those in their ‘third age’, access to academic programmes. It is now an international movement, run by its own members for its members and has no specific age criteria, though the overarching Trust has the vision “to make lifelong learning, through the experience of U3A, a reality for all third agers.” The UK’s U3A website explains that “Activities are organised mainly in small groups that meet regularly, often in each other’s homes. Members, through sharing their knowledge, skills and experience, learn from each other.” Area groups provide a wide range of learning opportunities “in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking”. There are numerous branches around the UK and in other countries. One can now also join U3A online through their virtual site.
With research showing that active learning and personal development is an important aspect of ageing well, U3A is a hugely valuable resource.
You can check out U3A on these sites and many others around the world :