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An 87-year great-grandmother has become one of the oldest students in New Zealand to earn a degree.

Phyllis Falvey collected her degree in anthropology from Massey University this week.

Mrs Falvey left school without any qualifications, became a Karitane nurse, married, had five children and lived on a farm in for 25 years, the Manawatu Standard reported.

But at the age of 81 she decided it was time to get a degree.

So from the comfort of her home in Edgecumbe in the eastern Bay of Plenty she studied anthropology.

And her family cheered her on as she graduated along with hundreds of other Massey students in Palmerston North on Friday.

But Mrs Falvey is not finished yet - she planning to embark on a graduate diploma in history next year.