Third Age Concept
More is learned when we are babies and small children than at any other time in our lives. Exploration impelled by curiosity and energy and supported by loving carers, ensure that this happens. Imagination and a sense of adventure make our little ones creative and responsible citizens. Retirement gives us time and space to take up again this type of learning.
During our working lives which may involve many “jobs” we have needed to keep learning, developing interests and making new friends.
Our busy lives may not allow time to consider what awaits us after retirement. Where will we ever find similar stimulation to “keep us on our toes” when our working life is over?
Many people find that U3A meets this need. Guest speakers and Study Groups ensure that our brains stay sharp and move on to new learning.
Active involvement [helping with admin, giving prepared talks to small groups] give us enduring challenges in areas we have never had time for and maybe did not even know existed.
This is gripping, communal FUN.
The guiding philosophy of most New Zealand U3As is that stated by one of our founders in the UK, Peter Laslett:
"Those who teach shall also learn and those that learn shall also teach".
Thus we are not a University in the modern sense.
The Law in New Zealand is that we can't use University in our title as it reserved for the current University qualification establishments.