Frequently Asked Questions

What is the U3A?

  • The U3A (The University of the Third Age) is a voluntary community organisation run by its members
  • U3A groups provide a range of activities and opportunities for shared learning for mature aged people, to keep their minds and bodies active in their life’s third age
  • The term “University” is used in the sense of an association or community of teachers and learners united in the pursuit of knowledge
  • The University of the Third Age is an international organisation whose aims are the education and stimulation of mature aged members of the community – those in their third ‘age’ of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A

What do I need to do to join U3A Bendigo?

  • Just complete a simple application form, available from our website or the office and that’s all that is needed – you don’t need qualifications to join
  • As long as you’re a mature aged person, wanting to stay active and share in life-long-learning with others, we’d like to meet you
  • Upon joining U3A Bendigo you will be provided with our Prospectus and a copy of our latest newsletter, The BUZZ
  • You will then be free to select which activities you’d like to undertake and contact the Convener to find out more information

What are the aims of the U3A?

  • To encourage and enable mature people no longer in full-time paid employment, to help each other to share their knowledge, skills, interests and experience
  • To demonstrate the benefits and enjoyment to be gained in learning throughout life
  • To celebrate the capabilities and potential of older people and their value to society
  • To provide a creative use for leisure time
  • To establish and maintain educational, cultural and physical programmes
  • To promote and further the concept and adoption of U3A in the general community and municipality
  • To seek, maintain contact and network with organisations and individuals involved with U3A Bendigo

Why should I join a U3A?

  • Learning should not stop as we get older.
  • The U3A provides social, intellectual and physical stimulation for mature aged people
  • Activities are designed to be enjoyable as well as stimulating
  • Our Activities reflect the needs and abilities of our membership
  • U3A gives you the opportunity to learn something that you have always intended to learn but have not had the time to pursue

How does the U3A operate in Bendigo?

  • Bendigo U3A is made up of mature aged people who either want to continue learning or being active, or who wish to teach others what they know
  • A Committee of Management is elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting
  • Convenors and other leaders are volunteers who are generally drawn from the membership
  • Members are encouraged to become active participants in the Activities
  • All administration is undertaken by volunteer members
  • An Enrolment Day is held each year so members can enrol in Activities of their choice
  • An Open day is held each year to encourage the community to come and see what we do

What does U3A Bendigo offer its members?

  • U3A Bendigo offers a wide range of Activities throughout the year
  • Activities, which may be short or long, range from formal language studies through to fun pursuits
  • All Activities are run during the day for the convenience of members at a range of venues within the Greater Bendigo area
  • Some Convenors are retired academics but members who have acquired knowledge and skills are encouraged to teach an Activity in their specialty
  • Many Convenors are also participants in other classes

How do I enrol in Activities?

  • Only current financial members of U3A Bendigo may enrol in our Activities
  • We cannot guarantee entry into any particular Activity as class sizes are restricted by the limitations of the venues
  • Enrolments in Activities are taken by the Convenors and are subject to availability
  • There are no examinations and no certificates

Can I be a Course Convenor?

  • Yes, any member with knowledge about a topic of interest to our members can become a Convenor
  • You will need to identify the objectives, methodology to be used and expected outcomes in terms of knowledge or skills to be learned
  • You will need to make an application to run a new Activity and submit this to Members Services, who will present the Activity to committee for final approval
  • Interest in the Activity content can be gauged by posting an article / information in our newsletter, the BUZZ
  • Once approval has been obtained a day and time will be allocated dependant on the availability of rooms / venues

How can I join? What does it cost to become a member?

  • Please take a look at our online application forms

Is the Membership Fee refundable if I decide to leave?

  • No