Active Ageing: Using an ARCON Framework to Study U3A (University of the Third Age) in Australia

  • Ronald C. Beckett
  • Michael Jones
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 362)


There are more than 200 U3A groups in Australia where senior citizens collaborate to provide recreational learning opportunities to more than 60,000 other senior citizens. The movement continues to grow through the efforts of thousands of volunteers with very limited government support. We chose to use a collaborative network organisation modelling framework, ARCON, to both guide questions we asked in our research and to represent data from different instances in a consistent way. This provided a coherent view of the status quo, but supplementary questions were needed to consider the future viability of U3A groups. Spinoff network activities associated with some U3A groups were noted, suggesting the U3A model might be adapted for a variety of purposes. In such cases, it is hoped that the structured view provided by the ARCON framework might inform their design.


Active Ageing Collaborative Networks ARCON U3A Volunteering 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald C. Beckett
    • 1
  • Michael Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Industry and Innovation StudiesUniversity of Western SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Management and MarketingUniversity of WollongongAustralia

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