9-year-old boy set to become world’s youngest graduate

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Amsterdam: A genius child, from Amsterdam, is set to complete his bachelor’s degree at the age of nine and become the world’s youngest graduate. Laurent Simons will gain a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) in December. The course is considered tough even for students of average graduate age.

The child prodigy, who was born in Belgium, finished his secondary school at the age of eight and is set to become a graduate next month, completing his studies in just nine months. He plans to enrol for a PhD programme in electrical engineering and simultaneously study for a medicine degree.

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Laurent’s parents thought that his grandparents were exaggerating when they noticed something very special in him. However, his teachers recognised that the boy was gifted. He started school at the age of four and completed five years of study in just 12 months.

Teachers gave Laurent tests after tests to determine the extent of his skills and talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” Laurent’s father Alexander said.

Lydia, the boy’s mother, jokes that she “ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy.”

Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement, said, “That is not unusual. Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”