What is lifelong learning (U3A)?
A U3A is a learning circle or cooperative. Members learn from one another by sharing knowledge and experiences and engaging in shared activities. The word "university" in this context comes from the medieval meaning, a gathering or co-operative, where ''everyone teaches and everyone learns''. It is a peer led learning circle for people who have retired. There are currently 20 groups nationwide with approximately 1000 members. U3A group maintains a non-formal and informal community education ethos; bringing older people together to learn about and do new things -and of course to have fun as they enjoy learning.
Why is U3A important?
Age Action’s programme is aimed at increasing social inclusion and multiplying a range of cognitive, social and overall health benefits through participation in lifelong learning, knowledge exchange and skills transfer. First-hand accounts, academic and anecdotal evidence gathered in Ireland and internationally tell us that the main outcomes for individuals who become U3A members range from increased empowerment of retired people to improvements in older people’s overall wellbeing, including:
- an increase in self-confidence;
- an increased awareness of Ageism & breaking down stereotypes;
- keeping mentally and socially active;
- social isolation and increasing all kinds of social integration
- increased volunteering and contributing to their local community; making new friends;
- Personal/self-development via learning and applying new skills and knowledge; having a renewed ‘sense of purpose’ in life.
How can I join?
New members are always welcome and you can contact Sam O'Brien-Olinger, Education Development Officer for further details on existing U3A groups or if you would like to set up your own (Tel: 01 4756989, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Each U3A group operates independently
To find out more information please visit https://www.ageaction.ie/how-we-can-help/lifelong-learning-u3a