Member Survey Results

In February all members of SLU3A were invited to participate in a survey.  The primary purpose of that survey was help your committee to address the problem that SLU3A new enrolments are declining.  The response was excellent; about 60% of members filled out the survey.

The committee wants to share the data with all members.

The survey identified that our local audience is quite different to either Sydney or Newcastle: it is older, less ethnically diverse, more likely to come from a blue collar background, and less likely to have had any tertiary education than in either city.  In SLU3A males represent just over a quarter of all enrolments, so there is a significant growth opportunity if SLU3A can attract more men.

A key finding was that in SLU3A nearly 60% of current members have gone on to tertiary education, compared to only 23% of the population in our catchment area. This posed three difficult questions for the committee:

  1. Is SLU3A drawing most of its membership from less than one quarter of the over 55 population in our area?
  2. Do terms like university, education and learning actively discourage engagement with our population?
  3. Does SLU3A want to broaden its appeal and, if so, what messages must it send?

Your feedback on SLU3A activities shows that:

  • Health and exercise is the most important subject area for you.
  • The limitations on numbers for Arts & crafts is critical for women.
  • Men want courses in engineering, workshop and handyman activities.
  • There is interest in courses on wellbeing and aging, but the current ones are not resonating.
  • Both genders want more technology education.
  • Social and discussion groups do not rate highly for men, but are a key focus area for women.
  • Both genders want more academic courses on history, plus courses in cooking.

To arrest our declining enrolments your committee has decided to focus on five critical action areas:

  1. Creating a messaging structure that more effectively addresses a population with no experience of further education
  2. Delivering that messaging through local word-of-mouth as well as taking a leadership role in a regional engagement with 2NUR FM and Facebook as key communication channels
  3. Creating and implementing a specific strategy to increase the male participation rate, especially through providing more courses in engineering, workshop and handyman activities
  4. Increasing the availability of women’s health and exercise courses
  5. Selecting specific focus areas for new courses and driving targeted recruitment of appropriate leaders

You can access the full report here: 2019 Southlakes U3A membership profile.

Questions or comments can be shared with any committee member or with me directly.

Kit Craig
Vice President
vpu3asouthlakes@gmail.com

Written by