University of the Third Age (U3A)

The University of the Third Age was founded in Paris in 1979 and has since become an international organisation. Each country has developed its own style, with an emphasis in the UK on participation by members rather than on formally organised courses. The UK’s U3A was founded in 1982 and has been a major success. Today there are over 800 branches and over 270,000 members. U3A neither requires nor awards any qualifications.

Like all U3As, it is a mutual self-help organisation, open to all. Our objective is to advance the education of, and provide educational interest for, people (usually aged over 50) who are no longer in full-time employment. We aim to achieve this through weekly meetings and, even more so, through members’ involvement in our study and activity groups.

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