What is a u3a?
A "university of the third age" or u3a is not a university in the usual sense; it is an association in which members pool their own abilities and skills in an informal learning co–operative. No qualifications are required of members and none are awarded. Paddock Wood u3a is affiliated to the Third Age Trust, which offers advice, resources and other help.
The u3a movement began in France in 1972 and started in the UK in 1982. It is a worldwide organization and grows quickly wherever it springs up. The founders recognized older people as active citizens with talents and skills to be utilized for the benefit of each other. The overriding aims of the movement are that we should never stop learning and that learning should be fun. What makes u3a unique is the fact that everything is done by members who share their knowledge and interests with each other in interest groups.
There are now about 400,000 members in over 1000 local u3a throughout the UK today.
Watch the Third Age Trust short film "Life in the Third Age"
Read the article "The u3a story" by Francis Beckett here
The principles of the u3a movement
The u3a movement is non-religious and non-political and has three main principles:
The Third Age Principle
"It is really enjoyable trying to learn something new and then succeeding."