Internet university launched for older Australians
Thousands of retired Australians will be able to undertake educational courses through the Internet at a cost of less than $42 per course with the launch of the University of the Third Age Online.
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The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Ageing
Mrs Kay Elson MP19 October 2005
Member for Forde
Thousands of retired Australians will be able to undertake educational courses through the Internet at a cost of less than $42 per course with the launch of the University of the Third Age Online by the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, in Brisbane today.
Known as U3A Online, the courses offered by the new, ‘virtual’ university will be based on some of the best teaching offered by Australia’s 180 locally-based U3As. The international U3A movement began in Toulouse, France, 32 years ago and has been active in Australia for 21 years.
"Lifelong learning is now operating effectively in this country, supported by older Australians for older Australians through the U3A movement," Ms Bishop said.
"People, regardless of where they live, can now study online subjects ranging from artistic studies to creative writing and botany.
"Retired volunteers develop and deliver all the courses. No one is paid and yet this university now serves 55,000 older students annually and its campus covers the continent of Australia through the Internet," Ms Bishop said.
The Member for Forde, Kay Elson, who also attended the launch, said the U3A Online project was started in 1998 by Ms Dorothy Braxton from Canberra, Dr Jack McDonell from Melbourne and Dr Rick Swindell from Griffith University with a $120,000 grant from the Australian Government as part of its support for the International Year of Older Persons.
"Griffith University has extended its support for conventional U3As to U3A Online, offering it considerable in-kind assistance. The Internet courses will be made available on Griffith University’s own sophisticated course delivery software," Mrs Elson said.
Ms Bishop said the Australian Government had contributed an additional $156,000 in recent years to help establish U3A Online. Further information: http://www3.griffith.edu.au/03/u3a/
The Minister also launched a book titled A Voice Worth Listening To, a compilation of in-depth interviews with people aged over 80 who continue to make a remarkable contribution to Australian and New Zealand society. It is the result of a two-year research project carried out by a team led by Ms Braxton, Dr Swindell and Dr Elizabeth MacKinlay from Charles Sturt University.
(Ms Bishop’s Office) Murray Hansen 0417 886 155
(Mrs Elson’s Office) Tracey (07) 3807 6340
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