An 80-year old law student has graduated from the University of Liverpool, collecting his masters of law at a graduation ceremony held at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
Former police detective superintendent Eric Jones entered the university at the age of 78, having never taken an undergraduate degree. He spent his career with Great Manchester Police but decided after retirement that he was ready for a new challenge.
Jones said that he felt “quite emotional” when shaking vice-chancellor Howard Newby’s hand, adding “It was highly emotionally charged. I’m not really given to that, considering the job I used to do.”
Jones applied for the LLM expecting to fall at the first hurdle, having not studied an undergraduate degree. However, he was interviewed and admitted with an unconditional offer after completing a 5,000-word dissertation on the Justice and Security Bill that was making its way through the House of Commons at the time.
On joining university with people nearly six decades his junior, Jones said: “The first few weeks were full of despondency, it wasn’t going right. I had to learn how to use a computer, at the same time as getting to grips with the academic side.
“I’d never been to University before and I was with a group of girls, three of whom had first class honours, and I was trying to keep up. I was advised to stick with it until Christmas and I’m glad that I did; I think I brought something to the party.”
He added: “I’m thrilled by the possibility of pursuing a PhD, but I’ve said I would like to start it when I’m 85 years old. So I would be all done by the time I’m 90; and then it’s on to job hunting I suppose!”