Father pursues university degree

Father pursues university degree
Su Yibin attends a class at Jiangcheng College, China University of Geosciences. The 44-year-old is studying for a marketing and business planning degree.

Like many fathers, Su Yibin accompanied his daughter when she left for university; unlike other fathers, he stayed on campus.

Always sitting in the front row of the classroom in Jiangcheng College, China University of Geosciences, the 44-year-old is studying for a marketing and business planning major. He ranked fourth in a class of 34 last semester, and attained full marks in advanced mathematics.

"I intended to major in computerized accounting, but my daughter resolutely refused to be in the same class with me. There was nothing I could do but switch," says Su.

"She has grown up, and I respect her wishes," he says helplessly.

Although it is unusual in China for someone his age to study at university, Su doesn't worry about being older than the other students.

"I am concentrating too much on listening to the lectures to be aware of anyone else," he says.

Su has never missed a lesson and is always present at the morning and evening self-study sessions. At 5 or 6 am, he wakes and catches up on some reading. After breakfast, he checks the attendance of the morning self-study class. At 8:30 am, he attends his own self-study class or prepares for the next lesson he will conduct. He is an assistant instructor in two computerized accounting classes, which earns him 1,800 yuan ($292) a month.

In the evening, he can usually be found reading or doing exercises. Sometimes he becomes so obsessed by a challenging puzzle that he can't sleep.

There are two shelves in his dormitory loaded with books.

"The books on the left shelf are those from when I helped my daughter prepare for her college entrance examination, and the ones on the right are the used books that I bought in college."

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