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Spending a decade or more at college

I admit: It took me five years rather than the conventional four to get my undergraduate degree. I took some time off for reasons that seem quaint in hindsight: I wanted to teach myself how to overhaul a VW engine and wade through James Joyce’s Ulysses. I still don’t know mechanics.

Actually, five years is downright speedy compared to the current crop of presidential candidates in Mexico.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the standard-bearer of the leftist Democratic Revolutonary Party, enrolled as a political science student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1973. He got his degree in 1987, 14 years later.

Josefina Vazquez Mota of the center-right National Action Party took even longer. She enrolled in economics at the Ibero-American University in 1978 and stayed through 1983. However, her senior thesis was not accepted until 1998. So it took her two decades to graduate. See here and here.

The last major candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto, seems to have been a diligent student, enrolling at the Panamerican University in 1984 and graduating in 1988.


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Serenity Escapes

a long time for AMLO and Mota (I love being able to say that name)to get their licenciaturas, but that is mostly a reflection of them starting to work or getting some nepotism post somewhere before their degree....what concerns me are the schools, boy, there are some funky "universities" in Mexico with some very inept, lazy "professors"...often times, anyone off the street can "graduate" simply buy paying tuition and then failing exam after exam and then paying for the "extraordinarios" until he/she gets the diploma

awesome about Joyce, Tim...I took a one semester seminar on Ulysses, without which I never would have understood 10% of that sprawling, epic masterpiece....I am sure that Joyce's high school in Dublin 100 years ago was a better education than say Peña Nieto's university hoy dia...Jesuits, remember...

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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