Phone - Carole 021 401 951

What is U3A and where did it come from?

'University of the Third Age'

In New Zealand, we are unable to use the word 'University' unless we are a registered University, so the abbreviation - U3A is the preferred name.

U3A History

U3A was launched in Toulouse, France in 1973, its aim to present a programme of university-based continuing education (attending lectures at Universities) as well as stimulation for those in the third stage of life. 

By 1981 the U3A concept had spread to England where it evolved as a community-based system of independent self-run groups.  The first U3A in New Zealand began in 1985 in Remuera and there are now 84 U3A's throughout New Zealand, ranging in size from less than 100 members to over 1100 members.

Each U3A group is autonomous, and is developed and run to fulfil the interests and needs of the local community.

What is the Third Age?

The concept is that there are three ages - 

First Age - Childhood - where we are continually learning

Second Age - Career (and Family), where we are working, learning, developing interests, raising children and making new friends.

Third Age - Maturity - when we are retired, semi-retired or comfortable in our work knowledge, and want to keep learning and expanding our horizons.  At this age most people have knowledge, experience or passions that they can share (or teach) with other people.

U3A Cambridge

Cambridge has a growing population and many people with special talents, interests, or who have had really interesting lives.

U3A Cambridge is being developed to enable mature people to share their knowledge, but also to keep their minds sharp by learning from experts and other speakers at the monthly (or twice monthly if there is enough interest), lectures.

One of the features the U3A system are the special interest (or study) groups.  These are smaller groups where people choose their own topic, and undertake their own research, which they share back with the wider group.  There are many topics that people could form Special Interest groups to study.  See the suggestions below.

 How often do we think “I wish there was a group of people who would like to do this with me”?!    Often it is hard to connect with people who are also wanting to engage in the topic that interests you.   

U3A is a forum for opening doors to new groups of people and new areas of interest. 

Potential Special Interest Groups

Find out more by going to the page by clicking here.

The kind of Special interest groups that U3A Cambridge will have will depend on the interests and passions of our members.  These are run by the members and meetings are held at regularly scheduled times that suit the members. Members agree on how these groups will work, generally a topic or activity will be identified and members will contribute research or organisation skills to 'crowd-source' the knowledge.

The Special Interest groups have a maximum number of participants, but if one group gets full, another group can be started.

Some ideas of Special interest groups include:

Art HistoryFilm AppreciationBook Appreciation
TechnologyWalking GroupCycling Group
BirdwatchingExploring World FaithsArcheology
Financial IssuesAviationLocal History
Studying a languageTying Fishing FliesAny topic will work as long
as there are a handful of
people interested.

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