9-year-old drops out of university in exam dispute

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - Nine-year-old Belgian student Laurent Simons. Image Credit: Reuters

Brussels: A boy genius has dropped out of university weeks before the final exams that would have made him the world’s youngest graduate at the age of nine.

Laurent Simons, who has an IQ of at least 145, was pulled out of his electrical engineering degree by his parents after the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands changed his planned exam schedule.

His parents Alexander and Lydia wanted him to graduate before his birthday on December 26 so he could beat the record of Michael Kearney, who graduated from the University of Alabama at the age of 10 in 1994.

The family rejected an offer of a mid-2020 graduation date and claimed Laurent got less attention from the university after he revealed plans to split the next stage of his studies between the Netherlands and one of the many US universities competing to admit him.

Eindhoven said it was impossible for Laurent to complete the course before turning 10 while also developing “insight, creativity and critical analysis”.

Laurent now plans to take up an offer from a US university He will move to the US with his grandparents and his parents will divide their time between their Amsterdam home and the US.

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