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School celebrates graduation of its oldest student

Online History MSc student Matthew Lynas graduated last week, aged 85. (Published 12 July, 2017)

HCA Matthew Lynas
Left to right: David Kaufman, Matthew Lynas, Ewen Cameron

Graduating with Distinction, Matthew Lynas adds another qualification to his repertoire having already attained a PhD in Non-metallic Materials, a History PhD and a Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development.

At the age of 85, he marks the School of History, Classics and Archaeology’s oldest graduate, although he claims that age does not figure largely in his decision to study. 'To me it is a continuous search for finding out how much I have to learn, in the knowledge that the task is unending' he said.

Despite his numerous qualifications, Matthew says it is not his intention to collect qualifications, but he continues to pursue academic study because it reinforces a feeling of intellectual vitality. 'It teaches one humility and is essentially a therapeutic process' he explains.

Matthew left school at 16 to practice agriculture and estate management, working in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria. On returning to the UK, he went on to pursue a completely different career in training and education within the ceramic, glass and mineral industry, before returning to education himself on retirement.

Throughout these varied life experiences Matthew has encountered multiple universities and academe in many ways, but credits the online History programme’s ‘educators’ as opposed to lecturers, for making his most recent study experience a truly positive one. He commented; 'My involvement with Edinburgh and the feeling of engagement with academics and administrative staff has been a transformation and the feeling that one is a valued member of a community – the feeling is that it is an institution one feels proud to be a part of.'

Following his latest achievement, the History graduate’s enthusiasm has not faded. When asked what he will go on to do next, Matthew responded that he is 'in discussion with Professor Cameron and Dr Kaufman, both of whom will no doubt ensure that I don’t vegetate!'

Matthew was one of ten students to receive awards from the Online History MSc programme this summer.

Online History MSc