HEADLINE 81-year-old Chinese woman fulfills lifelong college dream


81-year-old Chinese woman fulfills lifelong college dream

By Serena Na Ma | People's Daily app

08:42, February 10, 2018

People's Daily -- China’s youth of today, what are your reasons for not studying and working hard?

During the graduation ceremony for Tianjin University’s School of Online Education, Xue Minxiu, who at the age of 81 had just received her undergraduate degree, gave a speech to her fellow graduating class and everyone in attendance. 

Xue had been waiting for this moment for 61 years. After taking the college entrance exam three times over the course of her life, she had finally fulfilled her academic dream.

In 1957, Xue took the college entrance exam. She was accepted by Northwest University in Xi’an, Shanxi Province but couldn’t attend because of her demanding job.

Two years later she took the entrance exam again, but wasn’t accepted by any college.


She wanted to take the exam a third time, but at the age of 25, was too old and didn’t fall within the required age range.   

In 2001, higher education in China was off limits to anyone who was married, or over the age of 25.  Xue was 65.

Once China rewrote the college admission requirements, she was ready to return to college and get her dream back on track.

In 2013, after taking education courses online, Xue earned an associates degree in e-commerce. Later that year, she took the college entrance exam, but her score wasn’t sufficient enough.

She applied for an online education program at Tianjin University and completed the required e-commerce undergraduate courses within two years.


With top scores in almost every subject, she was recognized as one of the most outstanding graduates in her class.

Xue’s inspirational story has received congratulatory praise from Chinese netizens who admire her hard work and dedication.

“It’s never too late to pursue your dream,” a 21-year-old said online, “especially for young people, we should all learn from Xue and never give up our dreams.” 

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue