The University of the Third Age, or U3A as it is more often called, is a world-wide, voluntary, non-profit organisation that aims to offer older people low-cost, educational opportunities which operate in a pleasant, supportive social setting. There are no formal entry requirements, no examinations and no “awards”.
U3As are basically self-help groups built on the premise that collectively older people have the skills and knowledge to provide learning opportunities for each other. After all, “experts” of all kinds, in all fields, eventually retire! In fact , the word “university” in the title is used in the broad, medieval sense of a community of scholars coming together to learn from each other. The principles of self-help and mutual support are the very cornerstones of the U3A movement.