Student – when we hear or read this word, most of us have image of a child in school uniform going to school. We do accept elderly teenagers and just out of teens who are in college after completion of schooling, as students. They may be even undergoing post graduation courses or professional course like medical, engineering or law etc. Even Oxford Dictionary interprets student as 1 a person studying at a university or college. 2 a school pupil .3 a person who takes a particular interest in a subject. adj. referring to someone who is studying to enter a profession : a student nurse. So normally a student would be in age group of 3 to 22 years, upper age may be extended to 24 years catering for a failure or so in school or college. In other words we may call someone Student who is undergoing a regular course in school or college, including open school or university, for getting a popularly recognised certificate or degree.
Thus naming someone of around 30 years a student seems rather farfetched. I know that someone may be doing Doctorate or PhD but should we call them students? They are doing research in a particular subject, may be under guidance of someone but is that STUDYING? They may be called Research Scholars /Assistants instead of Students. Otherwise there may be persons who become PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS for reasons other than studies. They can continue for years doing same research or start another one on completion of first PhD. Will you call me a student if at my age of 70 I start research for PhD in any subject?
Food for thought.