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What Is U3A?
U3A is the “University of the Third Age”.
It is not a traditional University as you might expect from its title, but a "university of people", who come together in friendship to share and pursue “life long learning” in their “Third Age”, the period after they have retired from full time work or other responsibilities.
There are U3As all over the world but in the UK, the “Third Age” learning process is collaborative, with local people coming together to form a “U3A” where they share their knowledge, skills and experiences. Everyone moves into retirement with a huge fund of knowledge, either from work or other activities in their life, which they can share with others. U3As provide a wonderful opportunity for retired people to enrich their lives by learning new skills and developing new interests.
The topics covered by a U3A are set by the members of each U3A themselves. Hence, the nature and range of activities in each U3A will vary as it is up to the individual members to decide and provide. If there are enough members interested in a topic, then a new group is set up. Topics are not restricted to purely academic subjects, but include all sorts of cultural, hobby, leisure and sporting activities.
You do not need any qualifications to become a member of a U3A or to join any group within the U3A. All you need is a willingness to share in the experience and take part.
There is no obligation to join any group, you may decide you only want to come to the monthly meetings to listen to the speakers and socialise with new friends. The choice of groups is entirely yours and you could join all of them if you have time and provided there is space.
There are no courses as such except where a group has agreed to follow one. There are no diplomas, certificates or degrees awarded to members. There are no terms or semesters. Most importantly there is no competition and there is no pressure!
What you will be rewarded with is the joy of meeting people and making many new friends whilst acquiring new knowledge and skills, and most importantly, enjoying yourself!
History 2 Group in Leicester visiting the bridge over the River Soar, where, according to a 17th Century tradition, at the dissolution of the monasteries, the body of Richard III was disinterred from his grave at Greyfriars in Leicester and thrown into the river.
Photo: © Paul Geeson
Ramblers Group enjoying a break outside Maplebeck Church, Notts.
Photo: © Paul Geeson
You may not have heard of U3A before visiting our website, so we have set out below some information about U3A generally and its aims.
You may well have lots of questions about our U3A, and we have tried to answer them on our Burton Joyce & District U3A -
We have also summarised on our U3A Movement page, the history of U3A and how our U3A fits in to the overall framework of the U3A movement in the UK and worldwide.