The U3A
The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a learning co-operative of older people, which enables members to share many educational, creative and leisure activities.  Members are typically retired in their 50s, 60s, and older.

Activities are organised mainly in small groups that meet regularly, often in each others homes.  Members share their knowledge and experience and develop their own capabilities by learning from each other.

Although all local U3As remain autonomous, they are members of the Third Age Trust.  The Trust is a national, umbrella body (a Registered Charity and Limited Company) which represents all U3As at a national and international level.  It is run by a national Executive Committee which is democratically elected by the membership and which offers a range of services to support local U3As.

There are over 950 U3As in the UK with a membership of over 350,000 people -- and membership is growing rapidly at around 20% p.a.

The individual U3As offer a vast range of topics to their members, some purely academic and others recreational.  Most local U3As offer a combination of opportunities to study, create, socialise, and in general develop both mind and body.  The U3A is the only national education organisation in the UK, which is run entirely by its own members.