Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

france 24 France

Frenchwoman earns PhD aged 91 after 30-year thesis

© Miguel Medina, AFP | A student attends a PhD ceremony in Paris on June 13, 2009

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-03-16

Colette Bourlier, 91, became one of the oldest women in France to earn a PhD on Tuesday after completing a thesis she began 30 years ago.

Bourlier was awarded the mark of “high distinction” for her thesis on immigrant workers after successfully defending it before a jury at the University of Franche-Comté in the eastern French city of Besançon.

"It took a bit of time to write because I took breaks," she said. “I did the best that I could, I think the jury was satisfied.”

Her thesis, which was entitled "Immigrant workers in Besançon in the second half of the 20th century", drew directly on her experience of working as a teacher in literacy programmes for immigrants in the area.

She decided to pursue a doctorate after retiring in 1983. Although PhD candidates in France generally complete their thesis in three years, Bourlier was “an extremely atypical” student, according to her professor, Serge Ormaux.

“She took care of welcoming and teaching literacy to Besançon’s immigrant populations for 20-25 years,” he said. "She is probably the only person who knew all the aspects in such detail and who was able to weave everything together. She backed it up with statistical analyses."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2016-03-16

  • FRANCE - EDUCATION

    Is French grammar ready to hang up the ‘hat’?

    Read more

  • EDUCATION

    ‘My PhD in 180 seconds’: France’s nerdiest challenge

    Read more

  • EDUCATION

    France lags behind, US tops world universities ranking

    Read more

COMMENT(S)