Scotland’s oldest graduate returns to University

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Home page feature, Student news |

At 87 years-young, Scotland’s oldest graduate Alex Stewart may well be the nation’s oldest student  – and possibly the Scot with the most degrees as he returns to class at the University of Dundee this week.

Alex, who left school at 14, did not return to education until the tender age of 65. Now, 22 years later he is returning to Dundee for his eighth degree, having picked up a clutch of qualifications along the way.

The knowledge-seeking octogenarian will be studying for a Liberal Arts Degree in the School of Humanities at the University.

“I suspect I’ll have my hands full this year, as I am entering directly into second-year,” explained Alex. “Studying does become a way of life and a healthy way of life, as there are an awful lot of elderly people at a loose end. I just wished there were more retirees like myself in the class. It’s good to challenge yourself and also to challenge the young students.

“There are no shortcuts in learning. The biggest challenge you can face is educating yourself. No one was holding up a whip or a stick. I’ve come back because I wanted the challenge.

Alex spent his military service as a radio operator in the RAF before working for most of his career as a surveyor across the UK. Upon retiring, he seized the opportunity to return to education after seeing his sons pass through the University of Dundee.

He has obtained his previous degrees which include sociology, philosophy, and town and regional planning from the Universities of Dundee and St. Andrews and Abertay University.

Alex returns to class this week with one of his textbooks.