Belgian boy (9) will no longer be youngest person ever to receive an undergraduate degree
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Laurent Simons (9) was studying in the hope of finishing his undergraduate degree in electronic engineering by 26 December. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The 9-year-old Belgian boy who was studying for a bachelor degree in electronic engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology has been pulled out of the program by his parents.
Laurent Simons was expected to finish his degree at Eindhoven University of Technology in December and in so doing, become the youngest university graduate in history.
However, on Monday, Simons’ parents met with representatives of the University. During the discussion, Simons was accused by the University of committing plagiarism, his parents told HLN.
The university “made it clear that they questioned whether we put too much pressure on Laurent,” the mother of the 9-year-old boy added.
During the conversation, Simons’ parents re-iterated their wish that the boy complete his bachelor degree before his tenth birthday, on 26 December, meaning that he would complete his studies in ten months, where usually a bachelor degree would be completed in three years, the University explained in a statement.
“Laurent is an unprecedentedly talented boy, who has an exceptional study pace. However, the university does not believe that this intended end date is feasible given the number of exams that Laurent would still have to pass before his tenth birthday, on 26 December,” the statement continued.
On this basis, the University proposed an alternative schedule to Simons’ parents, according to which the 9-year-old boy would complete his studies by mid-2020.
“The parents have decided not to accept this timetable, and to stop Laurent’s study [at Eindhoven University of Technology],” the statement added.
Laurent has numerous offers from different universities in the US and England, said Laurent’s father.
“If your child plays soccer at Anderlecht and you get an offer from Barcelona, wouldn’t you take it? Anyway, we have now put an end to Eindhoven. Laurent will be on his feet. [There are] enough universities that want to work with him,” Laurent’s father added.