Boy genius, 9, leaves university that won’t let him graduate fast enough

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How would you feel if you had a child who graduated university at the age of 9? Would you still be satisfied if he graduated at the age of 10?

The parents of a nine-year-old child prodigy have pulled him out of university in the Netherlands, citing concerns with a schedule that is not moving fast enough for him to graduate before he turns 10.

Laurent Simons, of Belgium, won international acclaim last month with his push to finish a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Eindhoven’s University of Technology. However, his parents say the school is dragging its heels on his final exams, which have been pushed to next year. The delay jeopardizes the family’s goal of Laurent becoming the youngest person ever to graduate from university.

“Until last week everything was fine,” Laurent’s father, Alexander Simons, told Reuters on Tuesday. “Now suddenly they see a delay of six months.”

The school informed the Simons on Monday that Laurent will not be able to graduate until mid-2020, due to an unfeasible number of exams that he still has to finish.

“Laurent is an exceptionally gifted boy who is going through his studies at an unprecedented pace,” the university said in a statement. The school says it offered the family a revised timeline to complete Laurent’s studies, but they immediately rejected the offer and ended his studies.

The university also recommended the boy slow down in order to develop “insight, creativity and critical analysis.”

The school says the modified timeline was still a “phenomenally quick scheme in which he would end his education mid-2020.”

Laurent is due to turn 10 on Dec. 26, which means he would be nearly 10-and-a-half by the time he graduates.

With a reported IQ of 145, Laurent has blitzed through the school system in his nearly 10 years of life. He started school at age four, finished high school by age eight and had hoped to earn his three-year bachelor’s degree in just 10 months.

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