THE UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE
A few of the more frequently asked questions of us.......
Q. I am a member of another U3A. Can I join in your activities?
A. Members of other U3As need to join York U3A in order to take part in our
activites. Our U3A has decided, for ease of administration, to charge our
normal membership fee to members who belong to other U3A's as well.
Q. Can I find out if an Interest Group has vacancies, before I join?
A. For data protection reasons, we do not disclose contact details of Group
Leaders on our public website. However, if you phone our office, we can
find out for you if a particular group is "full", or in some cases get the
Group Leader to phone you. Please bear in mind, even if one Group is
full, there are many other interest Groups in our U3A, and lots of other
benefits of membership too, such as monthly lectures and travel.
Q. Can a new member start up a group?
A. Yes!! We are a self-help organisation of volunteers, and we welcome any member, however new, to start up an Interest Group by advertising for interest in our newsletter and/or website. The Groups Coordinator, or other committee members, can offer advice and assistance.
Q. Where do your Interest Groups meet?
A. Many Groups meet in the Group Leader's home (or in the home of another Group member who is happy to "host" the Group) Others use the Meetings Rooms that we have next to our office, or other rooms in the Friends Meeting House. Finally, a number of Groups meet in village halls, churches or other locations, or use facilities such as the York Railway Institute or local swimming pools.
Q. Who can be on the committee of York U3A?
A. Any member is eligible to serve on the committee. New members are welcome to be considered - there is no "length of membership" requirement. Committee members are elected at the November AGM and serve for 3 years. They can then be re-elected for a further 3 years, and must step down after that. All committee members are volunteers and are Trustees of York U3A (as defined by the Charities Commission). Our committee is very active and positive, and it's a very worthwhile way of making a contribution, through one of the committee roles, to running our U3A. For members, more information about our committee, and the various roles, is available via our members page.
Q. Who runs York U3A? Do you have paid staff?
A. York U3A is run and managed entirely by volunteers. A committee manages the day-to-day administration, and they, together with Group Leaders and other volunteers who assist in the office and in other ways, are all unpaid.
Q. What if I join late in the year?
A. You can join York U3A at any time. Our year runs from August to July. If you join after April, there is a reduced membership for the remainder of that "year". Bear in mind that after the start of a year, quite a number of Groups will fill up quickly.
Q. Is U3A just for older people?
A. The original concept of the "Third Age" was to allow older people to continue learning, and the enjoyment of learning, after they retire. The majority of members are in this category. However, there is no lower (or upper!) age limit, the only requirement is that members are not in full-time employment.
Q. What does the acronym U3A mean?
A. U3A means "University of the Third Age". For more information about the background and purpose of U3A, please see our "Home" page here
Q. How do I join your U3A?
A. You can download an application form from our website. Full details about joining us are on the "Join" page here
Q. Can I get a qualification with U3A?
A. No. All our courses are run by members and are for the joy of learning. Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. The teachers learn and the learners teach.
Q. How can I join the York U3A Travel Group?
A. The term "Group" is slightly confusing here! ALL members of York U3A are able to join any of the Travel trips, there is no specific "group" to join. Trips and holidays - both in the UK and overseas - are advertised in the newsletter, and sometimes via email; and, if we're oversubscribed, all members have an equal chance of getting a place provided they apply soon after the trip is advertised.