An Altrincham student has graduated — at the age of just 16.
Manchester Grammar School (MGS) pupil, Matthias Hoffman-Vagenheim, has achieved the remarkable distinction of completing a degree course while still at school, graduating from the Open University with a BSc Honours open degree in maths and astrophysics.
Matthias began the degree at the age of 13, and completed it in three years, alongside his school work.
He took his first Open University course at the age of nine. Speaking about how this spurred him on to study for a degree at such a young age, Matthias said: “Taking the short course in astronomy gave me the confidence to move on to higher level study, as I realised that I could balance my regular school learning with the challenge of a degree.
“The Manchester Grammar School has been instrumental in helping me to achieve my degree as I have had its continued support, including time off to complete my assessments. The Open University has also provided me with amazing assistance, including sending invigilators to my home so that I could complete assessments without impacting on my school commitments.
“This flexibility has made a real difference and I feel that I’ve been able to pursue all of my academic interests. I can’t wait for the actual graduation ceremony in March 2015; I just hope that I will find a gown and hat that fit.”
Demonstrating that his enjoyment of academic challenge is long-standing, bilingual Matthias, whose mother is Rwandan, completed his Maths GCSE at the age of eight, and was awarded an A. He will complete his A-Levels in Maths and Further Maths over the next two years, while also taking a French A-Level without attending any lessons.
Matthias, who wants to be a stockbroker, is also studying politics, economics, chemistry and history, which means that in summer 2016 he could potentially complete 7 A-levels — an incredible achievement.