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Woman, 81, masters life's lessons, earns bachelor's degree

By ZHANG YI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-06 07:29

Xue Minxiu, 81, receives her bachelor's degree in e-commerce at Tianjin University on Sunday. Her quest for a degree began in 1957. [JIANG BAOCHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

At 81, Xue Minxiu just created her own never-too-old-to-learn legend, earning a bachelor's degree in e-commerce from Tianjin University recently.

She had been struggling toward her goal with painstaking effort for years.

"For me, the meaning of life is to constantly challenge and improve myself. I want to thank the university for giving me a chance to fulfill a childhood dream," Xue said on behalf of all the graduates in a speech at Sunday's graduation ceremony.

Studying at the university has been her life's ambition, but it was not realized until she reached her senior years.

In 1957, Xue took the College Entrance Examination and was admitted to Northwest University. At the time, she was working as a nurse at a sanatorium in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, following her studies at a vocational school.

But she never attended the university because the sanatorium refused to let her go due to poor staffing. This remained her lifelong regret.

In 2001, when age restrictions-with the maximum of 25-were dropped from the entrance exam, Xue decided to continue her university dream. To prepare for undergraduate courses, she registered for e-commerce courses at an open university.

Xue, who said she has a passion for learning, then took the exam in 2013, but failed to meet the minimum admission requirement. She then registered for the e-commerce undergraduate course in distance education at Tianjin University in March 2014-at 77 years old. There was no time or place limit for the courses. She learned online and went to the university to take exams regularly.

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