The University of the Third Age began in France in the 1970s and has spread rapidly through Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The “Third Age” follows the First Age of childhood and formal education and the Second Age of employment.
U3A is a voluntary educational co-operative movement which provides opportunities for people of mature age to engage in mentally stimulating activities. Each U3A is autonomous, organising its programmes and affairs on an independent basis; but all adhere to these basic principles:
■ There is no distinction between teachers and those taught.
■ There are no entry qualifications, no examinations, and no diplomas or certificates issued.
■ All U3As are voluntary self-help organisations. There is an annual subscription to cover running costs, but there are no course fees.
■ Group Convenors are U3A members who operate on a voluntary basis and receive no remuneration.
■ U3A aims to harness the great reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience present among older people, to the mutual benefit of its members.
■ Groups meet during the day at a convenient location, often in the homes of the group members.
There are over twenty separate U3A branches in Auckland. U3A Takapuna is the original U3A branch on the North Shore and has over 260 members. Monthly meetings are held at 9.45am on the first Wednesday of the month at the Northcote Citizens’ Hall, College Road, Northcote. Meetings include a presentation by a guest speaker. You are welcome to attend a meeting to see if you would like to join us. A monthly Newsletter is posted to all members, and is also available on the website.
Study and Special Interest Groups are at the heart of U3A activities and members should belong to
at least one Group. Current Study and Special Interest Groups include:
Architecture, Astronomy, Auckland Heritage, Books to Read & Enjoy, Cabbages and Kings, Chinese Painting & Art, Classical Opera, Comparative Religion,
Famous and Infamous, Finance & Investment, Film Appreciation, Food History, French, Geology, German, Globalisation, Great Artists, Historical Studies,
Mah Jong, Making History, Medieval to Renaissance Europe, Modern English Literature, Music Appreciation, Musical Studies, Musical Troubadours,
Other Peoples’ Lives, Poetry, Renaissance Studies, Scientific Horizons, Scrabble, Shakespeare, Spanish Culture, U3A Travel, World War Two.
Descriptions of the Study Group programmes and meeting times can be viewed on this website. If you would like to visit a group to see if U3A is for you, email our Study Groups Co-ordinator to enquire about arranging this Groups@u3atakapuna.org.nz
U3A Takapuna depends on its members to run the organisation. In addition to our Group Convenors, the functions undertaken by our members include the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Members (all limited in term by the Constitution); Audio Visual, Catering, Hall management, Mini Speaker, Membership, Newsletter production and distribution, PR and Publicity, Reception, Speaker Convenor and U3A Network Representative.