WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Nine-year-old child prodigy Laurent Simons has dropped out from college after a dispute over his graduation date.
- Last month, Simons made headlines when his story emerged that he was due to finish his studies in electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) in the Netherlands in December.
- According to reports, Laurent’s father, Alexander Simons, had “repeated his explicit wish that his son should obtain his bachelor degree at the age of 9” but the school recommended the boy genius to finish his studies by mid-2020.
A nine-year-old prodigy, who is expected to be the youngest person to graduate from college, has dropped out of school.
Last month, Laurent Simons was in the limelight when news broke that he would finish his electrical engineering degree at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) in the Netherlands in December — a college graduate before he turned 10, according to CNN.
The current Michael Kearney, an American who graduated in June 1994 at the age of 10 years and 4 months, is the current record holder, according to the New York Times.
The Simons family is blaming the university for derailing the plan for their son.
Laurent’s father, Alexander Simons, had “repeated his explicit wish that his son should obtain his bachelor degree at the age of 9, which means that Laurent must successfully complete his bachelor within ten months for a study that normally lasts three years.”
According to CNN, the school recommended the boy finish his studies by mid-2020 due to the number of exams he still has to pass, which TUE pointed out would still be “in every way, a phenomenally fast schedule.”
Laurent, instead, has reportedly accepted an offer to work toward a doctorate at a university in the U.S., although the exact school has not been revealed.
“The way they treat things, it’s not correct,” Simons said of TUE. “Laurent is not their belonging.”
TUE found the decision to leave “regrettable,” and “maintains they never try to keep our students to ourselves.”
The Simons has not revealed when their son will start at the U.S.-based university or where Laurent will study for his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, as Simons said the family will only share his progress at the end of any given course.
“We don’t want to have pressure on him,” he said.