What is the University of the Third Age?

What is the University of the Third Age?

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a non profit organization for retired people or senior citizens, people in the “third age” of their lives.

It is committed to providing life long opportunities for people no longer in full time employment and rejects the oft held view that there is inevitably and intellectual decline as people become older.

It is a fact that older people are well able to organize interesting activities and that there is a wealth of skill and knowledge available.

U3A aims to provide stimulating courses where knowledge can be shared and new skills learned. The accent is on learning and fellowship.

History of the U3A

U3A has spread to over 30 countries around the world

U3A has spread to over 30 countries around the world

The University of the Third Age began in France in 1972 under the aegis of the University of Toulouse. With its spread to the UK, and the realization that Third Agers had the skills to organize and teach their own autonomous learning groups, the nature of the organization changed and this model has been enthusiastically adopted in more than 30 countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, parts of Europe and even Russia.

U3A came to South Africa in 2000 with the formation of a chapter in Cape Town. Johannesburg followed in 2001.

There are now more than 26 chapters around the country with over 11000 members still gaining knowledge and skills and sharing these with others.

As a U3A member you are also welcome to visit any other branch wherever you may be. The national website for U3A South Africa gives further information, links to other branches across the country and useful input on issues affecting retired people.

U3A in the West Rand

Waterfall at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The waterfall at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort, a well known landmark in the West Rand and further afield

In April 2016 the West Rand branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) had their first meeting. Since then the branch membership has been growing steadily.

Our aim is to bring pensioners together to meet people their own age with similar interests, to learn new skills and to form new friendships.

Meetings take place every second Tuesday of the month at the NG Church Wilgespruit in Wilropark, Roodeport. There we socialize over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits before listening to stimulating talks on different subjects.

Outings to interesting places and group lunches take place in alternating months.

On joining U3A, members are also encouraged to join one or more of our special interest groups, such as bowls, bonsai, yoga, books, walking or to start an interest group of their own and invite other to join with them.

Membership is R50 per annum and visitors are welcome to the monthly meetings.

U3A West Rand Logo

The logo for the U3A West Rand branchThe Black Eagle and the waterfall are very synonymous with the West Rand so they were a natural

choice for the U3A West Rand logo.