History of U3A around the world

History of U3A Around the World


  • 1973 the staff of Faculty of Social Sciences, Toulouse University
    decide to open classes to the public over Christmas.
    So successful it spreads throuhout Europe.
  • 1990s Names tried “University of All Ages”, “University of Free
    Time”, but “University of the Third Age” was most popular
    in English speaking countries.


  • 1982 U3A starts at Cambridge, but in typical fashion, Brits
    decided that U3As would be independent and based on
    Self Help and Peer Learning. Each to be autonomous,
    self financing and self managed.
  • 2009 VIRTUAL U3A starts in UK for anyone isolated
    anywhere in the world using wikis for interaction.
  • 2016 1000 U3As with 36,000 courses & 350,000 members.


  •  1984 Meeting plans for U3A in Melbourne. U3A spreads.
  • 2016 250 U3As in Australia with 85,000 members.