U3A Online is the world-first virtual U3A operating exclusively online.
U3A Online provides short courses for older people who enjoy learning but prefer the freedom to study where and when they choose.
Our courses are open to all older people, or younger disabled people, anywhere in the world. They are especially suited to older members of the community who are isolated either geographically, or through physical or social circumstances.
U3A Online provides other services too. We support U3As from anywhere in exchanging ideas, resources and information through our website, and we encourage older people to harness the internet's seemingly unlimited educational potential. Our courses are available to U3As and other related organisations for face-to-face teaching via a site licence agreement. Retirement villages and Aged Care facilities are also able to access the courses under site licence after taking out an organisation membership.
U3A Online is operated by a Management Committee elected by the Members at the Annual General Meeting each year.
We develop online courses using the skills of our volunteer subject writers and editors. Our courses are accessible throughout the year and can be studied either independently at a time to suit you or with the guidance of a volunteer course leader when the leader is available.
The U3A Online website is hosted by Griffith University, Brisbane, which also supports us through its Community Service Program. Our website continues to expand as we add to our information resource for older people and U3A communities.
The U3A Online project is the initiative of a group of U3A enthusiasts. It was originally funded for one year by the Australian Government as a project for the United Nations International Year of Older Persons in 1999. Funding was continued for two further years until the fully volunteer based model became established.
Initially Adult Learning Australia partnered the project but full responsibility for its operations has now passed to U3A Online Inc. which is incorporated in NSW as a non-profit association.
In 2008 a consortium of four partners including U3A Online won the Australian Government $15 million Broadband for Seniors contract. Details, including the $10.5 million extension until 2015 are available through the Broadband for Seniors tab on this website.
Download the U3A Online Constitution (PDF 103 Kb)