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EDITIONS
Thursday, 11 July, 2002, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Child prodigies graduate
Noraisha and Iskander Yusof with their father, Farooq
A family of child prodigies
A teenage brother and sister who were the youngest siblings ever to go to university have graduated with maths degrees.

Iskander Yusof, 15, and his sister Noraisha, 19, have been given their degrees by Warwick University.

Neither went to school before university, but had been taught at home by their father, who is a mathematician, and their mother, a chemistry researcher.

Iskander, who began his university studies at the age of 12, achieved a first class honours degree in maths.

His sister Noraisha was given a 2:2 in the same subject.

'Healthy competition'

The two shared a house near the university campus during their studies.

They say there was healthy competition between them.

Noraisha says she is not jealous of her brother's better degree.

She played a lot of sport at Warwick and played tennis for the university.

She said: "I have had better marks than him in coursework."

No regrets

After the graduation ceremony, they were asked if they thought they had missed out on their youth by going to university so young.

Neither had any regrets.

Noraisha said: "Conventional schooling makes no allowance for differences in ability.

"We would not have benefited from going to school."

Iskander said: "I feel I have not sacrificed anything at all. "If I had been making a compromise, I would not be here at all."

A-levels at eight

The teenagers' family hit the headlines two years ago when their older sister, Sufiah, another child prodigy, disappeared from Oxford amid claims she was being put under pressure by her family.

The 15-year-old had been studying at St Hilda's College.

She had been accepted by Oxford in 1997 at the age of 13.

After a nation-wide search by police, Sufiah turned up safe and well in Bournemouth.

The children's father, Farooq Yusof, was asked by reporters if the family had been in contact with Sufiah.

He said: "I am not able to pass any comment with regard to Sufiah's situation."

The family's youngest daughter, Zuleihka, is preparing to take her A-levels at the age of eight.

See also:

06 Jul 00 | UK
03 Jul 00 | UK Education
06 Oct 98 | UK Education
16 Feb 00 | UK
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