Welcome to the U3A Manawatu website. The U3A movement began in France and has now spread to many countries. U3A has hundreds of thousands of members throughout the World and more than 80 branches in New Zealand. While U3A stands for “University of the Third Age”, we are not a university in the modern sense – no qualifications, no exams.
U3A is a response to the idea that human life is divided into three periods: firstly childhood and schooling, secondly child rearing and work, and thirdly retirement (the Third Age). The Third Age is seen as an important opportunity for listening, learning and understanding.
It is during retirement that people can put into practice the idea of a university as a community of like-minded people who seek a greater understanding of life.
U3A Manawatu was formed in 2000 and currently has over 285 members. In a recent survey, members told us that U3A:
• Adds value to their lives.
• Provides mental stimulation.
• Allows them to learn from others.
• Is friendly and stress free.
Unique characteristics of U3A
• Taps the reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience of older people through self-help learning.
• Provides opportunities for reading, research, discussions and field trips.
• The atmosphere for learning is informal and friendly.
• There are no compulsory activities or examinations.
• Costs are minimal.
• Meetings are held in private homes, libraries, art galleries, schools etc.