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9-Year-Old Prodigy Drops Out of College

And in a bit of a huff
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2019 5:35 PM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2019 7:00 AM CST
Laurent Simons is shown in a Spiegel TV interview.   (Spiegel TV via YouTube)

(Newser) – His parents wanted him to graduate with his bachelor's degree at age 9—but the Belgian child prodigy has now been yanked from his university after the school informed his parents he wasn't going to make the deadline. Laurent Simons turns 10 on Dec. 26, and had been hustling to finish a three-year electrical engineering degree in just 10 months at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University. He would have become the youngest child to land his bachelor's. But the school now says Laurent's exam load is such that only a mid-2020 graduation date was feasible, citing the need for him to develop "insight, creativity and critical analysis."

The BBC notes Laurent responded as a youngster might: He posted a screenshot of a university email regarding graduation dates on Instagram with the caption "liar liar pants on fire"; the post has since been removed. The child's father tells CNN the school initially had no issues with Laurent's declared timeline. CNN reports Alexander Simons suggested the move came in retaliation for the family's decision to have Laurent pursue his PhD at an unnamed US university. "The way they treat things, it's not correct," he says. "Laurent is not their belonging." Eindhoven University disputed that and said "the door is ... still open for him to resume the study as long as the conditions remain realistic." (Read more child prodigy stories.)

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