The following educational materials are made freely available to you. If you find them useful or if you find them faulty, please let us know.

U3As around the world have developed independently and have their own styles and traditions. Their names vary too, and we are working on a new page that will explain the variations.

An International Perspective of the University of the Third Age - how and why U3As around the world began (written in 1996) - a paper by Rick Swindell (U3Aonline Australia) and Jean Thompson (U3A Internetwork UK)
U3A Zelenogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk Region of Siberia - a bilingual description of this energetic group

U3E Malta - some background and their current programme

The UK/U3A Approach to Lifelong Learning - From the outset the U3A movement in the UK adopted as one of its fundamental principles that it should base its approach to Life Long Learning on the concept of self-help - a paper by Ivor Manley. (Acrobat PDF)

The Amazing Universities Of The Third Age In China Today - why China has 19,300 U3As and how they work - a report from the AIUTA Congress of 2002, by Jean Thompson

ALIROW - Learning in Retirement in California and neighboring States - Bob Heilman, immediate past President of ALIROW outlines the principles he feels inspire the LIR movement. These have much in common with the UK Objects and Principles

The Growth of U3A websites in the United Kingdom - Peter Sinclair maintains a list of U3A websites around the world, and monitors the progress being made by local groups in the UK

The Learning in Retirement Movement in North America - a US version of the University of the Third Age which began earlier than the UK version; by Nancy Merz Nordstrom of Elderhostel USA.
A University of the Third Age in Granada, Spain - As the UTA movement spread around the world, more versions appeared. This later example in Spain has an academic focus.

U3A Calpe in Spain - an English U3A abroad, a report by Raymond Elkin of UTA Creteil, near Paris

U3A Fuengirola - an English-speaking U3A on the Costa del Sol - by Anita Eriksson

U3A in Singapore - the University of Singapore's Graduate Society Seniors Circle, and the Singapore Association for Continuing Education came together to form this group in March 2006
UTA in Italy - In Italy, two national UTA movements are members of AIUTA, FEDERUNI and UNITRE.
A University of the Third Age in Warsaw, Poland - One of the first UTAs in a non-French speaking country and the first in Eastern Europe.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: Both countries have flourishing U3As based on the British model.
Zawiw - University of Ulm - a major player in bringing European third-age organisations together


Names and flags of different national movements

FIAPA The International Federation of Associations of Older People, links151 associations representing older persons at grassroots level in 54 nations. It has consultative status on UNESCO, WHO and ILO

International Federation of Older People. This non-governmental organisation brings together 144 associations of older people (including AIUTA) from 57 countries. It represents more than 250 million older people in more than 3,000 associations. It has consultative status in UNO, UNESCO, the EU and the Council of Europe.

Fédération Internationale des Personnes Agées. Cette ONG réunit 144 associations d'aînés réparties dans 57 pays représentant plus de 250 millions d'aînés au sein de plus de 3000 associations. Elle est dotée du statut consultatif auprès de l'ONU, l'OMS, l'UNESCO, l'Union Européenne et le Conseil de l'Europe.

AGE The European Older People’s Platform was created in 2001 to represent older people’s interests at EU level.

TALIS encourages research into Third Age learning from experts around the world. They hold an annual Seminar and publish an annual Bulletin of research results.

These sites are in English and French and contain useful links.


This section is maintained by Jean Thompson


This section is maintained by Jean Thompson