Sunday 26 January 2020

Degree of anger: Boy (9) quits university stopping him breaking graduate world record

Nine-year-old Belgian student Laurent Simons at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Photo: Yves Herman
Nine-year-old Belgian student Laurent Simons at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Photo: Yves Herman

Bart Meijer

A nine-year-old Belgian boy who was on track to become the world's youngest university graduate has terminated his studies at the Dutch university of Eindhoven following a dispute over his possible graduation date.

Laurent Simons made headlines around the globe last month, as he looked set to complete a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the University of Technology before the end of the year.

But the university has told Laurent that the plan no longer looked feasible, considering the number of exams he still needed to finish before his birthday on St Stephen's Day.

"Laurent is an exceptionally gifted boy, who is going through his studies at an unprecedented pace," the university said.

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As the original plan looked unachievable, the university said it had offered "a still phenomenally quick scheme in which he would end his education mid-2020".

However, the boy's parents decided not to accept the offer. "It's very peculiar that this all comes right at the time when we were finalising our plans for Laurent's PhD at a different university [abroad]," Mr Simons said.

American Michael Kearney achieved the feat in June 1994 aged 10 years 4 months.

Irish Independent

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