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The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community—those in their third 'age' of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A.

U3A was started in France at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Toulouse in 1973 by Professor Pierre Vellas. In France, each Third Age University group is mostly associated with a local university and this academic model is used in many other countries, in particular in continental Europe.

In the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries U3A changed to be more a self-help organisation that acknowledges that retired people have a lifetime of experience and, collectively, a vast amount of knowledge, and where each meeting is normally led by a member of the group with a strong interest or specialist knowledge.

U3A Timaru was established in 2009 and is based on the original French model with a focus on lectures by university-qualified speakers on a wide range of topics. 

​​We meet on selected Monday afternoons at West End Hall, Timaru.  The group currently has over 330 members, with over 85 on the waiting list.  If want to join see the Apply to Join link on the menu above.

The U3A Committee is elected at our Annual General Meeting to plan the programme and manage our activities.


Current committee members are:

PRESIDENT: Kevin Foley


SECRETARY: Leonie Litten



COMMITTEE: Bob Cumming, Linda Gaskin, Solome Mair, Jude McKenzie, Julian Maze, Ron Paulin

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