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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Child star wins university place
March Tian Boedihardjo (Image courtesy of HKBU)
March says that university will be "just like going to school"
A nine-year-old maths prodigy has won a place at Hong Kong's Baptist University (HKBU) after gaining two grade As and a B in his A-levels.

He is the youngest ever student to enrol in a university in Hong Kong.

March Tian Boedihardjo told reporters he struggled to communicate academically with his own age group.

March, an Indonesian-Chinese boy resident in Hong Kong, will start his specially designed five-year course at the university in September.

He told reporters that in his spare time he liked "to read books, but on the weekends I like to go out to play with friends".

"We can play games together but academically, we can't communicate," he added.

He said they played chess, Monopoly and cards.

Asked why he was not going to study in the United Kingdom - where his older brother is at Oxford University - he replied in English: "Because my father does not have sufficient money."

March's father said the university had given him confidence it could cope with the demands of teaching a nine-year-old.

"I will advise parents in Hong Kong there's no need to know the IQ of your children. Just try to do your best to nurture them and give them space to develop," Tony Boedihardjo said.

Franklin Luk, president of HKBU, said the decision to admit the boy was based on his excellent examination results and a "commitment to nurturing gifted students".

Dr Tong Chong-sze, Associate Professor of Mathematics at HKBU has arranged several professors to be March's mentors.

"The very first concern of course is - academically can he handle the mathematics at university. So that was the purpose of the first interview and he did very well. He handled himself very well, one against four professors," said Dr Tong.


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