University of the Third Age Port Phillip
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The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community—those in their third ‘age’ of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A.
There is no universally accepted model for the U3A. Its original conception in France as an extramural university activity was significantly modified in the United Kingdom where it was recognized that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal links to traditional universities.
Many English-speaking countries have followed this geragogic model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model.
A British U3A website says about “The Third Age” membership eligibility: “U3A membership is not related to a specific age but to a period in one’s life (the third age) after the second age of full-time employment and parental responsibility.
Anybody in their third age can join U3A and this includes people who are working part-time. There is no lower age for membership.”
While membership of U3A doesn’t technically have an age restriction, the organisation was set up, and is predominantly run, for the benefit of those in their third age of life, usually retired or semi-retired, but still with an active interest in learning, teaching, new experiences and meeting like-minded people of a similar age, with many new and long lasting friendships formed from these meetings.
While we are delighted to receive new membership enquiries, we feel those of a younger demographic would perhaps not reap the benefits of the courses we have on offer, especially since they are intended for and run by and targeted to members of this older demographic.
9:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday – Friday (Excluding public and school holidays)
Classes start as early as 9:15am and as late as 5:00pm. Some of our online classes may go into the evening. Classes range in length from 1 – 3 hours – the average is about 1.5 hours. Times are set according to the availability of rooms and the preferences of the volunteer tutor.
Many of you may have seen the rather sensational headline in the Guardian saying “Zoom is malware”.
Let’s look carefully at the real risk to U3APP and its members in using Zoom, and what we are doing to protect ourselves. Click on the arrow to see the answers to the questions below.
Links to U3A meetings are posted on the website in a “members-only” area, so not easily accessible to hackers and trolls.
All meetings are set up with a passcode to prevent hackers from getting in by trying a random meeting number. The link to the course meeting on the Online Courses Link page has the meeting number and passcode built-in, so you should NOT forward that to anyone other than a U3APP member.
Zoom are working flat out to improve security (wouldn’t you if your product was receiving bad publicity?) and now provides end to end encryption. But most of what will be transmitted in U3APP classes would not be of interest to anyone else, anyway. We aren’t running Board Meetings for a multi-million dollar company. Keep your Zoom software up to date, for security reasons. Zoom audio and video are both encrypted.
It is probably no riskier than using Facebook or Google, both of whom capture data about you and what you are doing.
In choosing apps for U3APP, we consider the following in order of priority:
Microsoft Teams is designed for use by closed, fixed teams working in collaboration within a company, where all users have access to the same software and hardware. You need a Microsoft Office 365 licence to use Teams, which many of our members don’t have, and don’t want (it has a cost). Microsoft Teams operates differently on different devices, which makes it harder for a community like U3APP to use. So while it has better security than Zoom, it doesn’t satisfy our other, more important priorities.
Zoom, on the other hand, works well, is easy to use on a variety of devices, has no cost for our members and is affordable for U3APP.
Security is not a high priority for U3APP because we are not transmitting confidential information that could be of interest or use to others. We are however taking all reasonable steps to ensure that there is no casual access to any of our sessions – they are “members only”.
If you are concerned, then keep to the usual sensible rules for being “in public”:
Finally, it’s your choice and your decision to balance the risks of social isolation against any risks that might come with Zoom.
Note that in April 2020, Zoom issued A Message to Our Users to explain their immediate response to any issues of harassment or security and stressed that’s why it’s important to update your version of Zoom whenever prompted to do so. You can view Zoom’s compliance and certifications on their website.
Any other concerns you think this popup should address? Please email email@example.com
If you are trying to Waitlist yourself for a course, and your device doesn’t create an email automatically when you click on the word WAITLIST, you may either (a) create the Waitlist email manually or (b) fix the problem on your device permanently.
Please follow the instructions below.
Open your normal email, then create a new email message as follows:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: your email address bcc: email@example.com Subject: WAITLIST coursecode coursename yourname
Important: Please include your phone or mobile number in the body of the email, and then SEND. ———————————-
Here is an example of a subject line, requesting waitlisting for the Course 5C02 Current Affairs.
WAITLIST 5C02 Current Affairs Helen Vorrath
The critical bits are the word WAITLIST at the beginning IN CAPITALS, followed immediately by the Course Code. It helps if you put the course name as well, as it verifies that you’ve put in the correct code. Putting your name in means that if someone calls you to tell you that you now have a place in the course, they know who they will be talking to.
NOTE that everytime you wish to WAITLIST, you will have to repeat the above steps for the appropriate course.
When you click on a link on a webpage, it may take you to a new page, a new window, or it may generate an email, using something called the MAILTO: protocol.
We use this email option on the U3APP website to generate emails relating to Course Management: waitlisting, cancelling or apologising. Some U3APP members have found this doesn’t work for them, because their MAILTO: protocol is set wrongly on their device
The steps in (b) above will fix the MAILTO: protocol for the device.
U3APP uses the automatic generation of emails for several functions, such as WAITLIST and CANCEL (for full courses). Should an email not be automatically generated, you can fix the problem as follows:
• logon to u3app.org.au • click on Courses & Enrolling and then Courses by Category • find any course which is full • copy the whole entry, from the course code to the word WAITLIST, for example 5B10 Friday Movie, David Robinson, 12:00-4:00, Weekly from 31 Jan 2020 to Fri 4 Dec 2020, Mary Kehoe Centre, Room 3, FULL (31 places) WAITLIST • paste the whole entry into an email • send the email to yourself • NOTE that the above steps can be done on any Windows or MAC device, but the following step must be done on the device which doesn’t generate the email • when you receive the email on your device, click on the WAITLIST link in the email. The waitlist email will be displayed. Do not press SEND in the waitlist email.
This should permanently fix the problem on your device, so from now you will be able to o click on WAITLIST on any Courses & Enrolling page and the waitlist email will be generated o click on CANCEL on any of your courses or events which is full, on the Your Courses & Events page, and the cancel email will be generated
On-line: after bookings have opened
On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.
Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester
The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt. Paper Enrolment forms are processed nu I3APP volunteers on the same day that on-line bookings open.
If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email. Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
If your enrolment is unsuccessful, you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.
Via the Office: after bookings have opened
If you are disappointed to find that a course you would like to join is already full, we urge you to waitlist yourself. This helps us know what the demand is for our courses, and whether we need to try to find more tutors for a particular subject. Our enrolment team moves hundreds of members off Waitlists during the year (300+ in the first half of the year).
You can go on the Waitlist for any course or event which is shown as FULL.
If your computer or device is set up to handle email links, clicking on the WAITLIST button will automatically generate an email for you, and all you have to do is click or tap on the SEND icon.
Here is the normal process, which works for most people:
If your system is not set up to handle email links, and clicking on the WAITLIST button doesn’t create an email automatically, you need to either create the Waitlist email yourself or fix the problem on your device. Click on the button below for instructions.
If you are trying to enrol in a very popular course on enrolment day, and your system doesn’t handle email links, we suggest you follow the instructions in the button above to create a Waitlist email ready to send if you aren’t successful in getting a place. That way you will be higher on the Waitlist than if you have to create the email from scratch.
ENROLMENT FAQs for 2021
YES. You must have paid your 2021 membership prior to the start of enrolments on Monday 7 December 2020. If you’re not sure of your membership status, go to the U3A Port Phillip website, login, and your status will be displayed at the top of the screen.
Please note that the option to pay membership will be TURNED OFF prior to the commencement of the enrolment period to ensure that the response time for people enrolling is not impacted by people renewing at the last minute. It will be turned ON again later on Enrolment Day, but by then popular courses will have filled. So MAKE SURE you renew BEFORE Enrolment day.
We prefer you to login and enrol on-line via our website, as it saves a lot of manual processing. However we do accept paper enrolment forms. On-line enrolments open Monday 7 December. The opening time for enrolment depends on the type of course:
Enrolments stay open for every course until the course fills. Waitlists are on-going – you can add yourself at any time.
For details of how to submit a paper enrolment, click on the question “I would rather put in a paper enrolment. When can I do so?” below. Processing of the paper forms will be done on Monday 7 December at the same time as for on-line bookings: first Exercise courses at 9:00, then Language courses at 10:00, then everything else at 11:00.
If you have any problems logging in, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will assist.
YES. All courses are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. No preference is given to people who have been attending the course in the past. You need to enrol in the course on or after 7 December.
YES. All courses are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Waitlists are cleared at the end of the year and no preference is given to people who have been on a Waitlist. You need to enrol in the course on or after 7 December.
We try and make the enrolment process as fair as possible. Paper enrolments are numbered in order of receipt and keyed by volunteers at the same time as on-line enrolments are opened. If you have a low-numbered paper enrolment, you will probably get a place in the courses you want. If you have a higher numbered paper enrolment, you are more likely to miss out on a popular course.
Paper forms are available
Completed forms will be accepted in person by the Office Managers at the times shown above.
Forms can also be delivered by post or in person into the mailbox at the Mary Kehoe Centre at any time on or after 30 November.
The mailbox will not be cleared before Monday 30 November so there is no advantage to delivering a form early. The mailbox will be cleared daily during the week. The latest time for submission of paper forms is 5pm Friday 4 December.
If you can’t or don’t want to attend courses online, then you should NOT enrol in any of the courses so marked.
If you want to attend these courses once they become face-to-face (even if you don’t want to attend while they are online) you SHOULD ENROL NOW. This will maximise your chances of getting a place when courses become face-to-face. If you are comfortable with online courses, you should also enrol now.
Here are some hints:
Unfortunately, some of our courses are very popular and they may fill before you try to enrol. When this happens, the entry in the Courses and Enrolling page will change so that you can’t click on it to enrol. Instead the word WAITLIST will appear beside it. If you missed out, please click on the word WAITLIST. This will create an email message which you must SEND to put yourself on the Waitlist. Waitlists are processed in order of receipt of these emails.
YES and YES. For two reasons:
You need to refresh the page before your name will appear. To ‘refresh’ your screen:
Yes, you should. If you can’t find it, please check your spam or junk mail folder carefully. Many of our members have found that U3APP emails go into these folders, especially if they have a Gmail account. To find out how to stop this from happening for a Gmail account, click here.
Please note that on Enrolment Day, you will not receive a confirmation email immediately for each course. Instead you will receive one email within 24 hours which will list all the courses in which you have enrolled successfully.
This can happen if there is a setting on your computer that isn’t correct. To find out how to fix it click on the button below.
Because of high demand there are restrictions for some courses. (E) Exercise courses, (L) Language courses and (A) Art courses are limited to 2 of each type of course per member.
Apart from these limits, you can enrol in as many courses as you have time and energy for.
Should you have concerns about security on the internet when paying by credit card or debit card, here is how we handle online payments.
To accept any kind of payment via a website, we have to use something called a “payment gateway”. Originally we set up the U3APP site using PayPal as our payment gateway, but we found that it was very awkward and error-prone for members who didn’t have a PayPal account (and many of our members didn’t, and didn’t want one).
We switched to an alternative gateway called Stripe. It has security which is as good as PayPal, but has a much simpler form for members to fill in, and lower costs for a not-for-profit organisation.
If you Google “is stripe more secure than paypal” you will find dozens of articles, all of which confirm that the Stripe security meets Payment Card Industry compliance standards, and is as good as PayPal. In fact, Stripe is probably better from a privacy point of view – because PayPal uses an account rather than just asking for credit card details, which means it is collecting your purchasing history each time you use it.
We used to use bank transfers eons ago. The problem is that it is a manual process, and an awkward one at that, which is not instantaneous and, like all manual processes, is subject to error. It relies on
All this can take days, during which time you can’t enrol in a course.
With over 800 members to look after, life is much easier for the volunteers who run U3A Port Phillip if everyone can use the same systems. However, if this doesn’t convince you that using your credit card or debit card to pay your U3APP membership is perfectly safe, please download a paper form and follow the instructions on the form.
*If clicking on CANCEL doesn’t generate an email, Cancel problem?
PLEASE NOTE that if you withdraw from a FULL course, your name will not be removed from the course list until the Cancel email is read and processed by our volunteer Enrolment team. This may take up to 2 days.
Via the Office: notify the office in person, or by email or phone.
The NEW way to make an apology online is to use the “APOLOGIES” button, which contains all the instructions on how to make an apology. Firstly, logon to the U3APP website.
You can find the “APOLOGIES” button in several places:
You can also select “Apologies” in the Courses & Enrolling menu
During a class: advise the tutor AT THE END OF THE CLASS who will mark your apologies on the course roll.
If you are on the waitlist for a course, and you no longer want a place in that course:
If you’re retired or semi-retired and live in or around the City of Port Phillip, you can join the University of the Third Age, Port Phillip (U3APP). Our regular classes provide all kinds of opportunities to learn new skills, keep fit, and broaden your knowledge. Our very low annual membership fee gives you access to all our classes, and to a range of one-off events.
U3A Port Phillip is also a very friendly and supportive community, providing opportunities for you to make new friends, and to give back to the community by becoming a volunteer.
All our courses are taught or presented by volunteers. This means the range of courses is partly dictated by the availability of people to teach, as well as by the demands of our membership.
Our courses include
Once you become a financial member of U3APP, you can enrol in as many courses as you wish for no extra charge (except for occasional charges for course notes, special venue hire, the cost of excursions etc). There are some limits set from time to time on the number of courses of the same type for popular courses such as languages and exercise courses – details are in our Enrolment Policies. There are no academic entry requirements nor any assessments or examinations.
We are always looking for new tutors and new ideas for courses. So if you have an interest or passion you’d like to share with others, please get in touch with our Course Coordination team.
The heart of U3APP is at the Mary Kehoe Community Centre, 224 Danks Street Albert Park. In this spacious Edwardian house, we have our Office, three classrooms and a Hall which are in more or less constant use by our members during the day.
From time to time we also use other community spaces within the City of Port Phillip:
Our “Out and About” excursions can take you to a range of places in and around Melbourne, from the Royal Botanical Gardens to Bendigo Art Gallery.
Our Course Program and Calendar of Events provide the information you need about where courses are held, with Google maps to help you find venues that may not be familiar to you.
U3APP is a not for profit organisation, entirely staffed by volunteers.
It’s your U3A, and we are always ready to welcome volunteers to help U3APP manage, expand and improve its courses and events (see Volunteers and Tutors). Indeed we expect that every member will contribute as a volunteer at some time.
In any one year, about a quarter of our membership is involved in some volunteer capacity. This shows how rewarding our volunteers find the task of keeping U3APP running and making it as efficient, successful and friendly as possible.
See the Governance page for details of who manages U3APP, and how.
U3APP is strongly supported by the City of Port Phillip, who own, manage and maintain the venues we use for our courses and events.
We receive some grant funding from local, state and federal governments, administered via U3A Network Victoria.
U3APP also benefits from the use of discounts on computer hardware and software that are available to not-for-profit organisations. This includes a range of discounts obtained via Connecting Up, and discounted use of AppSheet which we use for electronic class rolls.
The list of attendees appears at the bottom of the screen.