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ROME – A 70-year-old retired school headmaster from Italy holds the Guinness record for the most university degrees.

Luciano Baietti, from the town of Velletri, a commune of Rome, currently has 15 bachelors or masters degrees from various universities across Italy, and is getting ready to get his 16th.

Mr. Baietti first made it into the Guinness Book of Records in 2002, after getting his eighth degree, but he didn’t stop there. After getting degrees in physical education, sociology, literature, law, political science philosophy and motor skills, he spent the next 15 years adding seven more bachelors and masters degree to his collection.

Most of them are from the famous La Sapienze University, in Rome, one of the oldest in the world, but he’s also graduated from a distance-learning university in Turin, and an online university in Naples.

Luciano Baietti now holds degrees in criminology and military strategies, as well.

Mr. Baietti claims that studying helps keep his mind active and that every degree he has obtained has helped broaden his knowledge of the world around him. “Thanks to books, I feel free.”

“After all, the words share the same root,” he says, referring to the Italian words libro (book) and libero (free).”

He claims to have been inspired by 19th century French essayist Louis-Francois Bertin, whose portrait is also on display in his study, alongside his many framed university degrees, and whom he describes as “a man of culture and knowledge.”

Probably the most important thing about Luciano Baietti’s achievement is that he managed to get most of his university degrees while working as the headmaster of a secondary school, and volunteering with Italy’s Red Cross. The secret was always getting up at 3 in the morning, to make sure that his thirst for knowledge didn’t affect his professional activity and his family life.

He spent three hours studying every day, and that was apparently all he needed to pass his exams and write his thesis.

Courtesy: Youtube, Inquirer