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About U3A

Where does U3A come from?

U3As are like universities in the original sense of the word - communities of people who come together to learn from one another. U3As are learning cooperatives of retired or semi-retired people. By offering many educational, creative and leisure activities to their members, they encourage positive aging. In any U3A community there are always some people willing to share their knowledge with others by acting as course leaders or tutors, or by assisting with administration. Quite often, members are leaders in some classes and learners in others. Third Age refers to the life period of active retirement, which follows the first age of childhood and formal education and the second age of working life, and which precedes the fourth age of dependence. The concept of U3A was developed in Toulouse in 1972, to bring older people into contact with academic programs at the University. The first British U3A was established in 1982 at Cambridge. The British U3As have embraced principles of self-help and self-determination, structuring programs and courses to meet the wishes of members and drawing on resources available within the membership as far as possible. These principles have been adopted by U3As in Australia.

In Australia

The first U3A was established in Melbourne and the first courses were offered at the beginning of 1985. As of 2007, there were more than 200 autonomous U3As in Australia with a total national membership exceeding 63,000. U3A Online in Australia is hosted by Griffith University in Queensland.

In Kingborough

U3A Kingborough Inc started in 2000 and offers courses in Kingston at the LINC Building Block A, at the West Winds Community Centre in Woodbridge, and other venues as appropriate. We are one of seven U3A communities in southern Tasmania. For more information visit our frequently asked questions page.