They mean one has spent an awful long time as a student. Get a GCSE, then an A level, then go to university study a subject for three tears, pass examinations and get a degree. This is the first degree on a ladder and is called a Batchelor degree. Thus Batchelor of Arts (BA) or of Science (B Sc) or of anything. Why a batchelor? Look it up. Now you want to know more so you go back to university and study for the next higher degree for about a year. This is called a Master. So master of Arts, Master of Science Master of anything. Well you are still not satisfied so you go back to university and now do some original research in your chosen subject for about four years. You submit your research to the university. If they think you did OK you are now called a Doctor. So after about 10 years at school, three years for a Batchelor degree, one year for a Masters and Four years for a Doctorate your education is nealy finished. Phew eighteen years gone!