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University of the First Age

The University of the First Age (UFA) is a national charitable organisation which works in schools, communities and other places to provide exciting learning opportunities for young people. We became involved in April 2002 to help empower young people in their learning journey.

Who benefits?

  • Young people of all ages and abilities
  • their parents/carers and families
  • local communities
  • teachers and school
  • adults who work with young people.

What activities does the University of the First Age get involved with?

  • University of the First Age (UFA) is like an Open University for young people – it hopes to offer a range of activities where young people can enjoy learning together in a fun and friendly environment. These activities often take place outside of normal school hours – perhaps in breakfast clubs, at lunchtimes, after school, at weekends and in holidays (see Out of School Hours Learning)
  • UFA wants to see enjoyable learning happening in all sorts of places – schools, libraries, community centres, sports clubs, music spaces, art galleries and museums – anywhere young people can learn something new
  • UFA trains the adults to make learning fun and effective – these adults could be their teachers, their parents, their local librarians, their sports coaches, local artists and musicians
  • UFA also trains older students as peer tutors who then support younger children with their learning – this helps both the younger and the older students with their work and their confidence in themselves as learners
  • UFA activities happen all over the country so some events get people together from different regions.

How can it help young people?

  • If a young person enjoys learning they’re likely to do better – so it can raise their achievement in schoolwork and other areas of their life
  • UFA helps young people to develop their self-confidence, self-esteem and motivation
  • UFA hopes to show young people that there are all sorts of people in the world that they can learn from as well as their teachers and each other
  • UFA trains young people to share their learning by supporting other younger learners.

How can I help?

  • If there is a UFA partner organisation in your area you can get involved as a volunteer in UFA activities
  • You can help to plan and run activities with other adults for young people
  • You can find out more about how learning works best so you can help your child with their schoolwork. See the websites listed below for ideas.

Further information

If you have a local UFA centre there will be a member of staff there who is a UFA Fellow – they have trained with the UFA in Derbyshire and can help you find out more.

We have a team of people who work with the UFA. You can contact:

Orlinda Dias 
Derbyshire UFA Partnership Manager
John Hadfield House
Dale Road
Tel: 01629 532803