U3A stands for University of the Third Age. There are U3As in many countries around the world, and 98 Groups in Victoria alone. The term “university” is used in the original sense of the word: “a community of people sharing knowledge”.
What is the Third Age?
The Third Age refers to the period of time after the First Age of childhood dependence and the Second Age covers the time of employment and parental responsibility. The Third Age is often called “the age of active retirement”.
Who Can Join?
Although U3A is called a “university”, the organisation is designed for those in their Third Age – active retirees. Retirement is not taken at any specific age.
No educational qualifications are required or given. Those who teach and those who learn are all members of U3A.
How is a U3A Run?
U3A members organise their own activities by drawing on the skills of one another. Like-minded members from all walks of life are encouraged to form study groups and share their knowledge with fellow members, all on a voluntary basis. U3As all over Victoria share the same philosophy but each is autonomous and develops its own character. Each program of educational and recreational activities arises from the interests of its members and the resources of the community.
A time for creativity and fulfilment for mature aged people:
U3As are low-cost, learning cooperatives of mature age people that encourage healthy aging by enabling members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. U3As offer lifelong learning possibilities, personal development, new friendships, fresh opportunities, and enjoyment.
Efforts are underway to start up a U3A in and around Sandy Point and Foster. By the way, there is an established U3A in Leongatha and another one in Wonthaggi. To our east the nearest U3A seems to be at Sale.