Last Saturday, a 73-year-old man sat the postgraduate entrance exam in Haining, Zhejiang province—over 40 years since he’d first entered university.
Zou Weimin was admitted to a university in Hangzhou in 1960, but dropped out of school after just one year to support his family. In 1977, after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the gaokao, China’s ultra-competitive college entrance exam, was reinstated, but he couldn’t apply to take it due to his old age.
In 2001, the age limit for the gaokao was lifted. Zou took the exam four different times and was finally admitted to a college in 2008. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2014, and has now completed his first postgraduate exam. Zou said he was confident about passing, NetEase News reports.
The gaokao is the most important exam for students in China, and the weeks leading up to the test are some of the most stressful of their young lives. Exam time has nonetheless spawned of a number of inspiring stories such as Zou’s. This year, a teenage boy in Jiangxi who missed the gaokao in June to save bus passengers from a knife attack was given the rare opportunity to make up the exam after authorities awarded him the title of “Good Samaritan”. In Sichuan, an armless teenager managed to complete the test by using only his feet to fill in each answer.
“His spirit of perseverance deserves praise,” web user 黄易资深临时工 said of Zou.
“It’s s never too late to learn,” user zhengjing6161 agreed.
By Dina Li