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83-year-old woman achieves life-long dream of college education

Jan. 26, 2024 - 11:38 By Yoon Min-sik
Kim Jeong-ja (front row, left) takes a photo with officials and students from Sookyung Women's University. (Sookmyung Women's University)

An 83-year-old South Korean woman who had made headlines for her belated passion for education has been accepted to the extension college of Sookmyung Women's University.

The Seoul-based university on Friday said Kim Jeong-ja has been accepted as a social welfare major for its Future Education Institute, which provides courses in liberal arts, specialized education. The school has granted Kim a one-year scholarship in support for her dreams.

"I will keep on learning as much as my health allows. I'm sure I'll forget a lot of what I've learned, because of my age, but I will try my best attending (the school)," Kim said.

Kim in 2019 had appeared in a tvN show "You Quiz on the Block" and shared her aspiration for learning. Born in 1941, she had been deprived of the opportunity of an education because of the financial difficulties of her family and social prejudice against women at the time.

She recently graduated from Ilsung Women's Middle and High School, a Seoul-based lifelong learning institute, and took the state-issued college entrance exam last year.

Kim said her dream was to attend Sookmyung Women's University, her granddaughter's alma mater, saying her dream was to learn enough English to communicate with her grandchildren in English.

During her reappearance at the tvN show last month, she said her Suneung grades were "better than expected, but not enough to qualify for the English literature department of Sookmyung."