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Monday, July 22, 2024

9-year-old boy gains admission to University of Australia, graduates at 13, sets record as youngest graduate of university

A young genius boy named Nathanael Koh who gained admission to Australian National University at the age of 9 has achieved an exceptional feat. He graduated from the University at 13 years old and set a record as the youngest-ever graduate of the institution.

Koh graduated from the Australian National University with an honors degree in music composition. He achieved success amidst the doctor’s claim that he would not be able to function independently because of health challenges.

When  Koh was just one year old, he was diagnosed with global developmental delay and his parents were warned he may never be able to function independently.

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“I was premature … 32 weeks, and I had to stay in the intensive care unit for 10 days after I was born. My parents were crying at home, hoping that their son would survive,” Koh said in an interview with ABC Radio.

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Koh’s original compositions have been performed by professional musicians in the United Kingdom and Finland, and by Singapore’s Kids Philharmonic Orchestra.

He also maintains a YouTube channel featuring simple, one-take videos of worked solutions to maths problems, including those required for admission to Oxford University from 2007 to 2021.

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He mentioned that his love for music started very early. He started playing the piano at three years old, the same period he began homeschooling but he was not focused on it.


Koh said it was when his family moved to New Zealand when he was five years old because they were told a cooler climate would assist with his condition that he met a new piano teacher who he credited for his success.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am now, basically. He kickstarted my musical journey,” he said. Koh said that time, his fingers were too weak to allow him to play the piano and so his teacher suggested he try musical theory instead.

“In one-and-a-half years I got my diploma in music theory when I was nine,” he said. Koh stated that his piano teacher not only taught him music skills but also life skills.

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“Eli taught me, ‘just don’t try but do it and do it well. Put your 110 per cent in it. And that ethos still stays with me, and will continue to stay with me for the foreseeable future,” Koh said.

Koh’s Father, Chris stated that his son is still a kid in his eyes, despite his academic prowess. He said that Koh still gets his screen time-limited, so he doesn’t spend all day playing games.

Chris also mentioned that his son could otherwise mostly be left to his own devices as he was very self-motivated. “Generally, we just leave him on his own to do whatever he wants to do. He has just grown on his own kind of fabric,” Chris Koh said.

Koh acknowledged that though he plays video games, he does not act or even feel like other teenagers his age.

“I’m like a 21 or 22-year-old inside the class of 21 and 22-year-olds. I feel the same with them. We can still communicate miraculously through our common language of music,” he said.

However, he noted that he had the challenges of fitting in with his classmates as they were older and not the same height as his peers. Koh mentioned that he will be proceeding to earn a doctorate.

“I don’t see myself anywhere because I am terrible at extrapolation! At nine years old I wanted to be a medical doctor and then at 10, I wanted to be a composer. I don’t know which subjects I am going to pursue, but I do want to do research at the moment. And definitely music, because music is my first love,” Koh said.


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