A Lifelong Scholar: Waratah Shanmuganathana Earns Second Master’s Degree at 86… Can you believe it?

Waratah Shanmuganathana’s lifelong love for learning has been a guiding force in her remarkable academic journey. From her early years, a passion for education fueled her desire to make a significant contribution to the field of political science.

In a truly inspiring move, at the age of 85, Waratah decided to pursue a second degree in law, a decision met with understanding and support from her family.

After a dedicated two-year study, Waratah achieved a milestone by earning a master’s degree in political science from the prestigious University of York in England.

Reflecting on this accomplishment, she expressed profound satisfaction, stating, “It was my life’s dream to achieve something in the field of political science. It has been an incredible academic journey, and I have enjoyed it, but now I have reached my destination.”

Waratah’s experience on the university campus was not just an academic pursuit; it became a spiritual sanctuary reminiscent of visiting a temple.

She found joy in connecting with her fellow classmates, who embraced her warmly, treating her with the respect and affection accorded to a grandmother.

When the global pandemic disrupted regular academic activities, Waratah, like her fellow students, transitioned to remote learning. Despite the initial challenges, she adapted to the new mode of study and even successfully defended her thesis through virtual platforms such as Zoom.

With wisdom accumulated over the years, Waratah offers valuable advice to the younger generation, urging them to view education not merely as a means to a career but as a transformative force capable of shaping their lives.

Looking ahead, Waratah’s intellectual journey continues as she plans to channel her research and experiences into a book focused on Sri Lanka.

This forthcoming project is a testament to her unwavering commitment to learning and contributing to the body of knowledge in her chosen field.

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