u3a - A founding visit

u3a founding visit square.jpegOfficials of the Third Age Trust had a special visit this month from Professor Francois Vellas - the son of Pierre, the founder of the U3A movement.  

Pierre Vellas originally founded the Universite du Troisieme Age in Toulouse in 1973 and it wasn’t long before variations of the U3A model had spread across the world.

Francois who is president of the International Association of Universities of the Third Age (AIUTA) said, “I think my father would be very proud of how many people in their Third Age across the world are now learning for life and tackling issues surrounding healthy ageing.

“I do not think Brexit will overly affect U3A because its strength lies in the fact it is a world  movement. It may only  be a problem with U3As accessing Erasmus – the European research programme – something which we will continue to carefully monitor.

“I feel the international U3A movement has two main challenges ahead.  The first is to make sure that all the advances in technology to deliver education does not isolate our members.  U3A needs to strive to maintain that very social link we have to learning.

“The second is to make sure that U3As are opening in countries in the developing world like Nigeria and Senegal.  It is important that we continue to visit, dissiminate, speak with governments and show the wonderful benefits of being part of the wider U3A movement”

You can read a longer version in Sources magazine out in February.