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About U3A North Gold Coast Inc.

University of the Third Age Worldwide


    The University of the Third Age was founded in Toulouse, France, in 1972 to improve the quality of life for older people by bringing them into contact with academic programs run by the universities.

    The success of the French experiment has lead to the rapid spread of U3As to many other countries. An International Association of U3As was established in 1975; it now has about 100 members.

    In July 1981 the U3A concept was introduced to Britain through a group based at Cambridge University. The British U3As developed the idea of a self help or mutual aid university – a sort of intellectual democracy in which there would be no distinction between teachers and members who are learning.

    All involved in their U3A would be members.  Each member would be encouraged to participate either by teaching, learning, or assisting with planning and administration.

    In the latter part of 1984, the first Australian U3As were formed in Melbourne, based on the British model.

    U3As have since been formed throughout Australia. 

    U3A North Gold Coast Inc


    Our University of the Third Age was formed in 1991 by Marg Williams and began classes immediately.  Until April 2011, it was known as Moncrieff U3A.  It was named after the Commonwealth Electoral district at the time, which covered the northern part of teh Gold Coast.  Subsequent redistributions saw the electorate and name of Moncrieff move further south towards the centre of the Gold Coast. Consequently, the Moncrieff electorate and name is no longer is associated with the area of the Gold Coast where most of our members reside.

    Membership is nearly 400 and courses continue to develop and expand in both quality and quantity.

    All U3As are voluntary, self help organizations. They tap the great reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience to be found among older people, which is often undervalued and overlooked.

    U3A North Gold Coast is autonomous and engages the help of members to conduct the administration, housekeeping and tutoring. Members are all expected to contribute in whatever way they can. A small fee is charged annually for the upkeep of equipment and the costs of conducting the courses and activities.

Classes and activities are planned jointly by tutors, the committee and students in response to members’ interests. A tutor in one class is likely to be a student in another. The backgrounds of tutors vary greatly but they all enjoy sharing their interests with others.

The broad acceptance of the term “university” comes from the original concept of a “community of scholars” in the medieval sense. In this environment, learning is an end in itself; individuals learn what they like, at the pace they prefer. U3A North Gold Coast operates in line with this ethos. No qualifications are required to enter, neither are any qualifications awarded.

Our strength lies in sharing our friendship, skills and experiences.