About u3a - the University of the Third Age

The u3a is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. If you’re wondering what we mean by the third age - it is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests or just try something new.

u3a’s members draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward. It's all voluntary; a typical u3a will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects - from art to zoology and everything in between.

Formed over 40 years ago, there are now over 1,000 u3as across the UK with thousands of interest groups between them and about 430,000 members nationally. Each u3a is an individual charity which you can choose to join, influenced by your location and personal interests. Find out more here: https://www.u3a.org.uk/get-involved/join. You can be a member of more than one u3a!

 The u3a national body – the Third Age Trust - looks after all the u3as in the UK, providing educational and administrative support. It also publishes a quarterly newsletter, Third Age Matters; members of Chiltern u3a can ask to be added to the circulation list for this.

An annual conference,  workshops, summer schools and educational events are organised nationally. See https://www.u3a.org.uk/events for details and booking forms.

Click here to go to the National U3A website.

In addition to the activities of Chiltern u3a, members are eligible to attend events organised the Third Age Trust.

The Thames Valley Network

The Thames Valley Network (TVN) is a network of 34 u3as in the Thames Valley area, covering cover towns in Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire. The aim is to increase communication between neighbouring u3as and encourage joint events, seminars and conferences.

The TVN has been running since 2008 and organises many popular study days for u3a members, both face to face meetings and in-line talks. Future events are advertised on the Thames Valley Network website at http://u3atvnetwork.org.uk/?page_id=44, and Chiltern u3a members are informed about TVN events by email. Any member can apply directly to join in these events via on-line application forms. Group Convenors may get involved in organising group participation for their members.