Netizens couldn’t be more impressed by ninety-three-year-old Kwon No Gab, who just kicked off his journey to obtain a Ph.D.
Kwon was the former aide of Kim Dae Jung, who was the president of South Korea from 1998 to 2003. Now, he is the chairman of the Kim Dae Jung Foundation and the adviser to the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea.
The veteran politician recently attended his first class as a doctoral student of English Literature, showing unmatched determination to chase his goals. Kwon is aiming to finish his dissertation by the time he turns 95, which is in two years. Finishing a doctorate degree in such a short time is an intense challenge for anyone, but Kwon is optimistic.
Currently, the record of the oldest Korean to earn a Ph.D. is held by Lee Sang Suk, who got the degree at the age of 92 earlier this year.
Kwon is attending the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul with classmates young enough to be his grandchildren. But he shared that he has no qualms about being in a classroom full of youngsters. “It’s fun,” he added, saying that just like other students, he too stays up late and relies on caffeine to prepare for his classes.
The politician has always been passionate about English literature but had to put it in the backseat to pursue his political career. He attained a master’s in English Literature in 2013 from Hankuk University and enrolled in a doctorate course at Dongguk University, where he completed his undergraduate studies more than half a century ago. But that plan derailed.
Talking about taking this unchartered road of pursuing higher studies at such an old age, Kwon said politicians should engage with education to be better equipped at their jobs.
I don’t see a lot of politicians today studying. They should meet up with prestigious scholars in each field for discussions. This would allow them to come up with a blueprint as to what they would do if they are elected.
— Kwon No Gab
International netizens are inspired by Kwon’s story and mindset and wish him all the best for his journey ahead.