As students prepare to head off for university, there’s another group embarking on a different learning experience. However, this unique university has no hefty tuition fees, no campus and they aren’t interested in qualifications; it’s called the University of the Third Age or, more succinctly, U3A.
“It’s a learning co-operative movement of retired and semiretired people who come together to continue their educational,social and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment,” explains Sam Mauger, chief executive of the Third Age Trust, which supports U3As in the UK.
The worldwide self-funded organisation was founded in the UK in 1982 with peer-to-peer education at the heart of its ethos. It is run entirely by volunteers and now has more than 1,000 local charity groups in the UK with members sharing more than 10,000 interests and skills.
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