What is U3A?

U3A is an acronym for University of the Third Age.  It is derived from the idea that our lives go through three phases:

  1. Childhood and school
  2. Family creation and work, and then
  3. Retirement (or semi-retirement).

It is in retirement/semi-retirement phase (the Third Age), that we can explore the concept of a university being a community of lively minds with limitless boundaries.  It is a platform from which short courses can be provided by members who have knowledge and a keen interest in their chosen areas.  This way members can continue learning and socialising within the community.

U3A was originally founded in France and now has a huge international following.  You can view more background detail by going to the following site:

About Kapiti Coast U3A 

The Kapiti Coast branch has about 350 members and runs approximately 40 courses per semester each year. Courses may be either weekly, fortnightly, or monthly depending requirements of the members.

  • Topics are determined by members who are knowledgeable and keen about a topic and are prepared to facilitate a course.  Consequently a study group is proposed and advertised in the Course Booklet.  In some cases the courses are led by outside experts. If a sufficient number of people signup, the course will continue.  Each course has a leader and optionally a convenor.
  • Courses are informal and often held in members’ homes.  You do not need to have a degree and there are no exams.
  • Not all courses have a cost, but when they do, the costs are kept to a minimum and members are notified in advance.
  • Courses are usually run during the day.

You do not have to be an expert to lead a course; just have an interest, or perhaps a passion for a particular topic… or may be you could lead a discussion group and gain input from all of the participants.

Please note that the website address is:  

Other U3A groups you might explore

There are several U3A groups in the Wellington region and they are usually happy to welcome visitors to courses or lectures.

For example, Wellington U3A lectures are now held at the Paramount Theatre in Courtenay Place commencing at 10.30am. Use the Gold Card train into town and catch a bus. Members of any U3A have reciprocal rights to attend any other U3A . There are many U3A groups in the city suburbs and the Hutt. You can easily google them for details. Make a start with the Wellington one. Click on the line below for their website which should give you details of their offerings. The Wellington site also includes web link addresses for other U3A groups in the region so you can click on these too.

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