You're never too old to learn, so the saying goes.
Until relatively recently this was little more than a hollow cliché for most retired people, for whom access to education was very limited.
But since the 1960s various movements - colleges, home-based courses and even a special university entirely for those of the "third age" - have started.
It is easier for pensioners, given a little effort, to learn than at any time before.
Hundreds of thousands are taking up the offer - there are now officially more than 600,000 learners over the age of 60 in England alone.
A Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman said: "They are overwhelmingly doing part time, non-vocational courses which don't lead to a formal qualification.
"There is a very wide range, from yoga and aerobics through to painting, ICT, modern foreign languages and basic literacy and numeracy."
And all very pleasent for them - I can sort of understand why we subsidise young students, they may contribute more to society eventually...But why are we subsidising this sort of stuff for wrinklies?