The range of learning programmes and quality of knowledge dissemination is both extensive and impressive, so that the Maltese U3A is now firmly established as a key pillar in Maltese national policies on lifelong learning and active ageing.
The second half of the twentieth century witnessed an unprecedented increase in educational institutions catering exclusively to the learning needs and interests of older adults. The University of the Third Age (U3A), founded in 1973, has emerged as one of the most successful institutions engaged in late-life learning. U3As constitute socio-cultural centres where older persons acquire new knowledge in an agreeable milieu and adequate learning processes. Their target audiences are people in the third age of life - that is, the life phase characterised by a relative disengagement from stressful occupational careers and demanding child-raising responsibilities.