Welcome to the home of the Virtual University of the Third Age or vU3
What we are
The Virtual U3A or vU3A is like a local U3A Group except that its activities take place on the Internet.
An important target group for the vU3a is older people who are isolated through location, illness or immobility - but all are welcome. We have members from around the world.
All our activities are run by our members on a self-help basis, by writing using a secure membership only wiki and Zoom Conferencing.
We do not create or deliver formal structured online courses.
How did we start?
In 2003 there was a small group of U3A members who proposed a 'Virtual' U3A for people who, for one reason or another, could not attend meetings of conventional local U3A groups. Using the Internet would make it possible for such people to benefit from a Virtual University of the Third Age, or vU3A.
It took a surprisingly long time to germinate and get something established to serve the vU3A. What we all wanted to create was something of the facilities and atmosphere of a typical U3A group – but on the Internet.
The vU3A is now an independently run U3A group affiliated to The Third Age Trust just like any other.
What sort of groups do we have?
There are over 50 groups, activities include:
‘The Arts, Literature and Language, Music and Drama, History, Natural History, Geography and Travel, Philosophy, Psychology, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Humour Games and Pastimes, Recreational And Hobbies, Life and Living.’
There is no need to formally join any vU3A group, you can just visit, read and make contributions.
There is usually much information to read which can be a great help for those venturing into new subject matter areas. Dropping in every now and again is the norm.
There is, of course, the ever-popular Coffee Shop which is a great place to visit and have a chat in the form of written comments in the Comments section of the page. The nice thing is you don't all have to be online at the same time to have your chat - particularly when there might be contributions from around the world, for example, Australia, as time zones are not a factor.
The key to our wiki, hosted by PBWorks, is co-operation, so don't be shy! Try making a comment and get a conversation going. Have a go at editing a page to share your knowledge of a subject with others. Like everything else the key to learning is to have a go!
Why not take a look at our public example of the members private wiki where you will see a small example of what’s available.
As you will be aware, electronic communications lack the subtleties of everyday face-to-face interactions so we have a few guidelines to make the wiki experience enjoyable for all.
‘Make others feel welcome
Create and maintain a friendly environment
If needs be, turn the other cheek and forgive!
And don't worry there is always someone available to help!’
What are the benefits of membership?
Members will be free to join any of our groups or interest pages and primarily social pages, e.g. the Coffee Shop. We email a regular vU3A Newsletter to keep everyone in touch.
The subscription is £12 per year. Subscriptions are paid securely using Paypal. We do like to operate entirely online but, we are able to accept cheques or payment by bank transfer by arrangement.
What do you need to join the vU3A?
A computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, internet connection and a web browser.
Oh! And a comfortable chair and a drink of your choice!
Interested in joining?