“Age is just a number,” is probably one of the most popular uh, age-old adages ever. Sadly, a lot of people use that saying to justify the relationship between a centuries-old sparkling vampire and a teenage girl named Bella instead of actually relating it to more significant things. One that comes to mind is finishing what you started, regardless of old age, which is what a university in Japan is promoting right now.
In Hanazono University, Kyoto City, Japan, school is not just for the young people anymore. They have recently implemented a new form of a fully-paid scholarship for senior citizens who still want to finish their education. However, there is an age requirement for the full scholarship, you have to be 100-years-old or above.
There is also a “half” scholarship for those who are in their 50s, where they only pay half as much of the tuition. Additionally, people in their 60s get 60 percent off, and so on. Also, the scholarship is for four years of post-secondary education only and not graduate courses. As for people over 100, it seems Japan has about 68,000 and counting, so that’s actually a lot of… freshmen?
So boohoo, yuppies, Hanazono University is not giving you free college education, not yet anyway– wait seven or eight more decades. However, that scholarship is only the reflection of a more severe problem which Japan is having right now, and that is its lack of youth. Hanazono University, in particular, has been having trouble getting more than ten young people to take its entrance exam each year. It seems people are too overworked there to start their own families, hence the ageing population of the country with more Japanese dying than being born.
Meanwhile, Hanazono University’s new “old” class will start next spring, and they might soon nab the world record for world’s oldest college graduate.