Objects and Principles
What is a University of The Third Age?
A University of the Third Age is a learning co-operative of older people, which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities. Activities are organised mainly in small groups that meet regularly, often in each other’s homes. Members, through sharing their knowledge, skills and experience, learn from each other.
Although all local u3as remain operationally independent, they are members of The Third Age Trust. As such they must abide by both the original Objects and Principles written by Peter Laslett in 1981 and slightly amended in 1984, and the Aims and Guiding Principles written in 2004, in response to demand for a more modern interpretation.
The Trust is a national, umbrella body (a registered charity and limited company) which represents all u3as in the UK at national and international level. It is run by a National Executive Committee democratically elected from the membership and offers a range of services, to support and advise local u3as.
The u3a movement is growing all the time; approximately 50 new u3as are started every year. They pursue an amazing range of topics; some academic, some practical and others recreational. Most local u3as offer a combination of opportunities to study, create, socialise, and in general, develop a fitter mind and body.
u3a is the only national education organisation in the UK run entirely by its own members.
Our Vision is to make lifelong learning, through the experience of U3A, a reality for all third agers.
Our Mission declares our purpose as an organisation and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions. It is to:
The Principles of the U3A Movement
The U3A movement is non-religious and non-political and has three main principles: