U3A is a community of people from diverse backgrounds who get together to develop their interests or further their knowledge by forming small, friendly interest groups of like-minded individuals in a welcoming, social environment. We encourage life-long learning but there is no formal tuition: the emphasis is on shared learning and participation. We have groups for social and recreational activities too (see our Groups page).
U3A stands for "University of the Third Age", but don't be put off by the title. We are not an academic institution and you don't need qualifications to be a member. There are no entrance exams, certificates or formal qualifications. We are here for enjoyment.
The U3A movement brings together people in their "third age" to pursue their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. What do we mean by "third age"? It's the time of life after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to develop your interests or just try something new.
There are over 1000 local U3As in the UK, of which Burnley and District U3A is one. All are affiliated to a central body, the Third Age Trust, but each is an independent organisation, making its own decisions through a small elected committee drawn from its members. Burnley and District U3A maintains links with others in our area including Clitheroe, Hyndburn, Longridge and Todmorden U3As
U3A is for everyone in their third age, regardless of background, educational achievement, race, religion or political persuasion, so come along and see what we have to offer. The U3A motto is "Learn, laugh, live". We try to live up to it!
Everyone who is no longer in full-time employment can join U3A. In practice this means most are over 50 but there are no age restrictions.
If you are interested in joining you are welcome to attend any two of our monthly Open Meetings as a guest before you decide. There is a small charge of £2 per meeting. See the Open Meetings page for more details and an up-to-date programme. You can also attend one meeting of as many of our interest groups as you wish as a taster session to find out what they do. There is usually a small charge to cover room hire. See the Groups page for a full list of all our groups.
The membership fee for 2020-21 is £14 April to March or £9.50 October to March per person; £26 April to March or £17 October to March for couples living at the same address.
Once you join you will be able to attend our monthly open meetings free. You can also join as many or as few of our Special Interest Groups as you like (or none if you don't want!). As a member you would be able to start a new Interest Group if there is a subject or activity we don't already cater for.
We produce a monthly newsletter with information about all Special Interest Group activities with the dates and venues for their next meetings . It is distributed at monthly meetings, by email and by mail to those without access to email.
You will receive also a copy of the national magazine, “Third Age Matters”, published 5 times per year, which has news from around the country and details of online and residential courses.