An Introduction to the University of the Third Age
U3A is intended to be a source of intellectual stimulation and enjoyment for retired people in their '3rd age', the 1st age being the youth and formal education age, the 2nd being the work and family responsibility age and the 3rd being post-retirement.   This 3rd age is the time when most people can expect to have more free time for self-development.   It was with this in mind that the University of the 3rd Age was started in France in 1972 and has spread to more than 20 countries.   It was brought to Cape Town in the year 2000 and there are now more than 30 U3A's in South Africa.
The principles upon which U3A is built are:

  1. To refute the idea of intellectual decline with age.
  2. To recognise the immense resources of skills, experience and enthusiasm in retired people
  3. To be open for membership to all irrespective of religion, culture, race or educational
  4. To encourage members to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with others and to learn from each other

Originally, the universities made their staff and facilities available to provide courses for senior citizens but we are now a do-it-yourself organisation organising our own activities.   University professors are invited to address our meetings when their time permits, and a number of them from our local University have given us some very interesting talks.   Other interesting speakers are asked to talk to us on various topics each month.   We bear in mind the criteria variety, enjoyment and increased knowledge when approaching prospective speakers.
Apart from our monthly talks we encourage members to start their own informal discussion groups in their own homes on any topic that might be of interest to others.  After all, shared knowledge is increased knowledge.
Whenever possible, outings are organised to such places as factories, organic farms, wool auctions etc. to show our members 'how things work'.
A voluntary committee manages each U3A and a small membership fee is charged.   In Port Elizabeth it is a nominal R100 per year plus a once off registration fee of R10, which covers printing costs, hiring of the Auditorium and a 'thank-you' donation to each guest speaker.
Our meetings are held in the Newton Park Library Auditorium on the corner of 4th Avenue and Hurd Street on the last Tuesday of each month starting at 10 am.
We Look forward to You Joining Us.

Click here to download our constitution
Click here to download an application form and bring to the meeting or simply join at the meeting

For more information about U3A go to U3A South Africa at www.U3A.org.za.