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Ernest gets his first degree at 87

Ever thought there was a cut-off date for learning? With a passion for learning, and a curiosity that has yet to fade, Ernest completed his first university-level degree through Open Universities Australia (OUA) at 87 years old.

Ernest already had an impressive career as a magistrate, but has made a return to the justice scene since graduating from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, through OUA. His reason for undertaking the degree? Ernest was dissatisfied with court procedures, and wanted to update his knowledge and understanding so that he could help drive change within Australia’s modern justice system.

Taking on the challenge

This in itself seems like no easy feat, but Ernest also had the challenge of being a self-confessed computer illiterate who was completing a course entirely online.

“I was absolutely terrified I was going to press the wrong key, and the whole lot was going to go out the door!” says Ernest.

Despite his fears, anytime Ernest had a question or concern he was able to count on OUA’s student advisors. No question, whether complex or downright silly, went unanswered during his studies.

The will to learn

What’s clear from Ernest’s story is how willpower played such a key role in his success. As if his Bachelor wasn’t challenge enough, Ernest is now enrolled in a Master of Human Rights through Curtin University.

Ernest has seen inequality and abuse firsthand, having lived in Papua New Guinea for a period of his life. This has motivated him to want to explore human rights at a more academic level.

“Why not take advantage of academic experts, who can pass their knowledge onto someone who wishes to receive it?” says Ernest.

It’s safe to say Ernest is thriving from this mentality, which sees him take every day as a new opportunity.

Do you have a passion for learning like Ernest? Get in touch with Open Universities Australia here, or speak to a student advisor on 1300 513 044 to find out about the right degree for you.


This article was originally published by our friends at Open Universities Australia.



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