What is a U3A?
U3As provides low-cost learning to older people to encourage them to stay active and engaged, Australia wide. There are also U3As around the world. The U3A is an incorporated non-profit voluntary community organisation.
Starting in France some 40 years ago, U3A stands for University of the Third Age. The Third Age refers to the age of active retirement. It follows the Second Age of employment and the First Age of parental responsibility.
What happens at U3A?
Designed for retired or semi-retired people over 50, the U3A provides an opportunity for people to try something new, meet new people and share their knowledge and skills with others.
Courses range from physical fitness, to desk-based classes, language studies, art and craft classes and more.
How much does it cost to participate?
Before you can participate in a course or activity at a U3A you must become a financial member. The membership fee – at U3A Nunawading for example in 2018 – for a year is $75, or for part year from July-December it is $50. This fee enables you to attend classes with no additional payment (unless specifically noted in the Course Guide), although there may be some additional fees for excursions.
How else can you get involved?
Volunteering is an important part of being a member of a U3A. Positions are available for Committee of Management, office volunteers and various committees.
Case study - Nunawading
U3A Nunawading is Victoria's largest U3A. Established in 1990, it has grown to around 2,000 members.
More than 200 courses with over 100 tutors are run across 11 locations, with four terms per year.
Valerie Conlon, President of the University of the Third Age in Nunawading talks about the education, lifestyle and physical fitness classes available to retired and semi-retired seniors at U3A in Victoria in the video below.
How do you find out more?
Contact the U3A Network Victoria, the peak body for the 109 Member U3As representing around 37,000 members statewide.
Reviewed 06 December 2022