Frequently Asked Questions
u3a stands for the University of the Third Age. It is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment who are in their third age. The Objects and Principles of the movement can be found on the “Documents” page.
It is the period of time after the First Age of childhood dependence and the Second Age of full time employment and parental responsibility.
It is the national representative body for the u3a movement in the UK. It underpins the work of local u3as by providing educational and administrative support to their management committees and to individual members. Go to their website for more u3a.org.uk
It provides educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment through local u3as all over the UK. Towcester u3a is one such u3a. Local u3as are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery!
The u3a approach to learning is – learning for pleasure. Members share their skills and life experiences: the teachers learn and the learners teach. There is no distinction between them. There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained.
Activities are organised mainly in small interest groups that meet regularly, often in each other’s homes. Members can choose to attend as many or few groups as they may like.
It is an independently managed charitable body run on a non-commercial basis by an executive committee elected from its members in accordance with its constitution.
It currently operates over 70 interest groups covering a wide range of creative, educational, recreational, and social activities. Some stir the little grey cells, some help to relax them. A members meeting is also held on a monthly basis at which external guest speakers are invited to perform.