Vietnamese woman earns master's in law at 66

By Le Nguyen   June 18, 2024 | 05:00 am PT
Vietnamese woman earns master's in law at 66
Nguyen Thi Bach Van on her graduation date at Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, June 16, 2024. Photo by Thanh Hoang
Nguyen Thi Bach Van, 66, has become the oldest graduate of Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, earning a master's degree and inspiring others with her dedication to lifelong learning.

During the graduation ceremony last Sunday for 190 students where she officially got the master’s degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, Van was also one of five students awarded for academic excellence.

"The journey to earn a master's degree was not easy, and I was emotional upon receiving my diploma. It was a significant challenge, but I have fulfilled my wish. I am very grateful to the teachers and classmates who accompanied me along the way," she said.

Van was formerly the chief of police of Ward 14 in District 10.

After retiring in 2010, she opened a law office, primarily providing free legal advice to the community.

Explaining her decision to pursue a master's degree in her late 60s, Van cited her passion for law. She has been connected with Ho Chi Minh City University of Law since attending a legal course from 1988 to 1990 and graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1995.

Throughout her career, she always wished to return to the school to get a master's degree, but life left her little time for studying.

In 2009, she took the entrance exam, but family issues prevented her from continuing after she had already completed the test for one subject.

In 2021, she registered for the exam again. At the same time, she asked her niece to pursue a master's degree in Economic Law so that each of them would have a companion.

Returning at school, Van faced challenges due to her age and had to balance her studies with family life. Fortunately, she received support and encouragement from her family.

During classes, she never hesitated but asked her teachers and classmates immediately about any points she found unclear.

She also spent time outside of class reading additional materials and law cases.

Van said attending school was not just about gaining knowledge but also an opportunity to meet and connect with teachers and new friends who share the same passion.

Many lectures helped her gain deep insights into situations she had previously encountered but did not understand thoroughly, making studying more and more interesting to her.

"Studying at an older age is, of course, difficult, but I believe that if one has a dream and determination, anything is possible. I always encourage everyone to pursue lifelong learning. If my health permits, I will continue to pursue a doctorate," she said.

A representative of HCMC University of Law noted that Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, the fields that Van studied, were challenging.

"She encourages everyone to strive to pursue their dreams and overcome personal limits," he said.

The university is the largest law training institution in southern Vietnam. It launched the master's program in law in 1997 and has awarded degrees to over 3,800 students to date.

go to top