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Nine-year-old Belgian genius quits university

© Belga

Laurent Simons – the 9-year old Belgian genius was on the verge of obtaining his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Eindhoven – has put an end to his studies for now, his parents announced. 

The Belgian boy was the youngest student at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Born of a Belgian father and a Dutch mother, Laurent entered primary school at four. Five years later, he was at university.

Laurent and his parents made the decision because of a conflict over the time frame. The university wanted to postpone his graduation originally planned for end of December, his father, Alexander Simons told the AFP.

The university explained for its part, that “the father was quite clear that he wanted his son to obtain his degree at the age of nine,” which meant that Laurent would have completed a three-year course in ten months.

“Laurent is a boy of unprecedented talent, with an exceptionally high study pace. However, we did not consider this targeted date as feasible given the number of examinations that Laurent would have had to pass before his tenth birthday on 26 December,” the university declared. 

The institution proposed a schedule that would have allowed Laurent to finish his studies by mid-2020, which would have “always been, in all respects, a very fast schedule.”

“The parents have decided not to accept this proposition and to take Laurent out of the university,” regrets the university.

He has already received study offers from two universities abroad but does not rule out taking a sabbatical year, his father told the AFP.

The Brussels Times

Correction: a previous version of this article said Laurent was studying for his master’s degree.

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