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" of full-time employment and parental responsibility. 

What is U3A?
U3A stands for "The University of the Third Age", which is a learning co-operative of older people which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. 

U3A began in France in 1972 and soon spread around the world.  It came to Britain in 1982 and there are now over 723 U3As with nearly 225,700 members.  

Although all local U3As remain autonomous, they are members of the "Third Age Trust".  The Trust is a national umbrella body (a registered charity and limited company) which represents all U3As at a national and international level.  It is run by a National Executive Committee elected from the membership and offers a range of services to support local U3As. 

Why are we called U3A?
A U3A is a university in the original sense of the word; a collective of people devoted to learning, with members not students, all of whom are in their "Third Age".

Who can join U3A?
Anyone in the "Third Age" can join U3A and this includes people who are working part time.  No qualifications are required, and none are given.  There is no lower age limit for membership.

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