While most kids are climbing the grade-school ladder, this 9-year-old Belgian genius is reportedly planning to receive his bachelor’s degree at the end of the year.
Laurent Simons is currently enrolled at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), working toward a degree in electrical engineering. His teachers at the university are very impressed with the child prodigy, but Laurent’s parents, Lydia and Alexander Simmons, told CNN they didn’t believe Lauren’t grandparents at first when they realized his academic talents. “They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
After taking multiple tests to figure out the best course of action for Laurent’s education, teachers told his parents that their son is “like a sponge,” which has led him to complete his classes even faster than the college-aged students at the university.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport,” Sjoerd Hulshof, TUE education director of electrical engineering, told CNN.
The university staff has described him as “simply extraordinary,” and Hulshof added that the child is the “fastest student we have ever had here.”
Alexander shared that when his son completes his bachelor’s degree in December, he hopes to enroll in a Ph.D. program for electrical engineering.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” he told CNN.
Laurent’s learning doesn’t stop there — the 9-year-old told CNN that during his Ph.D. studies, he is also going to “study a bit of medicine” to earn yet another degree.
He shared that his goal in life is to develop artificial organs, which suits his personality, as Hulshof also described the young boy as “very sympathetic.”
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things,” added Alexander. However, like most kids, Laurent enjoys taking time to play outside of school — something that his parents find extremely important at his age. “We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” his father said. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”