Thursday, December 2

An 11-year-old boy finishes his Physics degree in Antwerp in 9 months


Belgian Laurent Simons says his goal is “to be able to replace as many body parts as possible with manufactured organs.”

A group of primary school students in a school in the Netherlands.
A group of primary school students in a school in the Netherlands.EFE

The gifted 11-year-old boy, the Belgian Laurent Simons, known for his plans to finish a university degree in nine months, instead of three years, he obtained his Bachelor of Physics at the University of Antwerp with an average of nine out of ten and in a single course, as he had fixed.

The young man assured that he has already finished his career in Physics and did so with honors, achieving a diploma with “cum laude” in less than a year, when this degree generally requires a minimum of three years, and, he stressed to the Dutch agency ANP that will continue in the same Flemish university to do a master’s degree in Physics, of which “he has even completed some subjects“.

Simons started primary school at the age of 4 and entered the equivalent of a Secondary Institute, the Sint-Jozef Humaniora in Bruges, with only six years, completing this stage in 18 months, when this is obtained in eight years, earlier entering college at the age of 9.

He does not know how long it will take him to finish his master’s degree now, but he assures that he is not doing it to break a record, but to “achieve his goal”, which is “to be able to replace as many parts of the body as possible with manufactured organs,” he says. The young man also made headlines two years ago, when a dispute between his parents and TU Eindhoven University forced him to abandon his studies in Electrical Engineering in the Netherlands.

Laurent then explained that, after promising that he would be able to obtain his degree before his tenth birthday – December 26, 2019 – the Dutch university sent him an email indicating that the teachers had to adjust the learning schedule for them. that he could graduate in mid-2020, nine months after his goal.

As an argument, the Dutch university center claimed that the young man needed more time to develop the skills that belong to the final phase of the study, such as “understanding, creativity and critical analysis“, and that the opposite would have been” excessive pressure “on this child, who was only nine years old at the time. The parents then immediately began negotiations with different universities to send their son to complete his undergraduate degree, with Israel and the United States as two of the favorite destinations, but finally I ended up choosing Antwerp.

Laurent is not the first child to complete such a feat: in 1994, the American Michael Kearney graduated at the age of 10 from the University of South Alabama, where he studied Anthropology and was distinguished with the “World Guinness Record” for the youngest university graduate. .

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