The University of the Third Age

Published on: 20 July 2016

Bertram Brockington, Maggie Teuten, Grace Williams, Robin Durie, Katrina Wyatt and Carol McCullough (L-R) at the MoU signing

The University of Exeter and the Exeter University of the Third Age (U3A) have cemented their longstanding partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2016. The MoU aims to bring the two groups closer together and encourage the continuation of the partnership whilst paving the way for new activities.

The University of the Third Age is a movement which provides life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities for retired and semi-retired people to come together and learn together. The movement is supported by the Third Age Trust. There are currently 361,078 members of 964 U3As in the UK. Exeter U3A has almost 500 members and 50 special interest groups.

We are not just a passive audience, and want to use our life experience and expertise to support research.

Bertram Brockington, Exeter U3A

U3A members currently act as lay members on two University of Exeter committees; the Social Sciences and International Studies Ethics Committee and the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Group. As lay members, their voices are key to ensure that the ethics of research are viewed and approved from all perspectives and backgrounds. Members have also been active participants at several research workshops including a think tank seminar within the Mood Disorders Centre. They have attended talks by University of Exeter academics on varied topics, the science of colour, the invention of money, wave particle duality, how Germany views its Nazi past, and myths and evidence about the EU.

Bertram Brockington, from Exeter U3A, who coordinates the liaison between the group and the University of Exeter, said: “The aim is not just for academics to talk to us. We are not just a passive audience, and want to use our life experience and expertise to support research.

“In the past two years our relationship with the University has gone from strength to strength. We have had talks by experts in their field, presentations by research students and involvement in research.”

Professor Debra Myhill, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, said: “We greatly value the extremely positive relationships already created between members of Exeter U3A and academics, and hope this agreement will allow more to flourish.

“The passion and enthusiasm of Exeter U3A members has been an important contribution to University life. We are all proud to contribute to the culture of lifelong learning in the city.”

For academics wishing to discuss potential collaborative opportunities with Exeter U3A, please contact Grace Williams.

Related links

» Professor Debra Myhill

» Mood Disorders Centre


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