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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 U3A Wikipedia page

How Kapiti U3A works 

  • You do not have to have a degree and there are no exams !
  • Topics are determined by members who are knowledgeable and keen about a topic and willing to lead a course.  A study group is proposed and advertised in the Course Booklet. If a sufficient number of people signup, the course goes ahead.  A course may also have a convenor who will help the Leader with the running of the course.
  • Courses are informal and often held in members’ homes.
  • Not all courses have a cost, but when they do, the costs are kept to a minimum and members are notified in advance. Any charges will be to cover incidentals such as photocopying or maybe a cup of tea.
  • 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.

If you might like to lead a course in an area of interest to you please contact the Courses Organiser.

Page last edited at Feb 15, 2017 @ 10:57