BBC Home > BBC News > England

Pensioner picks up Spanish degree

21 July 09 10:22 GMT

An 87-year-old pensioner is graduating from Sheffield University with a 2:1 in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Ruth Deas from Millhouses is believed to be one of the oldest graduates in the UK.

Ms Deas, who already has a degree in French and German, took up Spanish in preparation for a trip to Mexico.

The pensioner, who trained language teachers for 42 years, said she had managed to get her second degree "without too much difficulty".

Ms Deas studied for her degree at Sheffield University's Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, she said: "They offered me a place, so I went. It turned out my tutor was an old student of mine."

'Enjoyment'

The pensioner said she had always been an enthusiastic student.

"When I was at school I used to rush down the aisle with my hand up all the time."

Ms Deas, whose daughter is now trying to persuade her to undertake a masters, said she had coped well with the workload.

"I managed it without too much difficulty. It was all continuous assessment and we didn't take exams. I was grateful for that because my memory is not as good as it was."

Ms Deas did her first degree at Cambridge University in the 1940s.

She said people of all ages should consider university.

"It is very good. I got a great deal of enjoyment from it," she added.

Related BBC sites

*