At the local church hall on a late autumn afternoon in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, more than 100 wannabe-students are queueing to sign up to a new university. The atmosphere is chatty, tea is being brewed, and there's an air of excitement about embarking on a new stage of life. But this isn't a typical student body. There's barely a hoodie in sight and not a teenager to be seen: this is one of the country's newest branches of the University of the Third Age.
U3A – the older person's lifelong learning organisation – is experiencing a recession-fuelled surge in popularity. More than 20,000 new members joined this year