Education and learning in numbers

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It is now only two weeks until A-Level results are announced. To celebrate, we bring you the killer stats on the wackiest student stunts, veteran primary school pupils and most extreme locations to complete your studies

Latitude of the University Centre in Svalbard, the world’s most northerly higher education institute. Snowfall is common year-round, while students share the island of Longyearbyen with native polar bears. Fittingly, the institution specialises in Arctic studies.

Endowment value in 2009 of Harvard, the world’s wealthiest university. The troubled world economy hasn’t been kind to the institution: its endowment in 2008, before the global financial crisis began, was $36.9bn.

Age of Zohaib Ahmed in 2009 when he became the youngest ever student to  gain an A-grade at A-level maths. Zohaib achieved a 90% score across all six modules to gain the A-grade when he took the exam nine years early.

Prodigious maths skills run in the family: Zohaib’s big brother Wajih gained an A-grade in further maths aged just 11. The Hampshire-based boys both have ambitions to become actuaries in the City.

Age of Alia Sabur when she was appointed the world’s youngest professor. Professor Sabur, born in the US in February 1989, became Professor of the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea in 2008, three days short of her 19th birthday. Sabur counts the clarinet and taekwondo among her other talents – she got her black belt in the martial art aged just nine.

Record number of Diet Coke bottles turned into Mentos fountains by students in 2008 in Leuven, Belgium. Spouts reportedly reached 29 feet. Sadly for the sticky students, the record has since been beaten.

859 AD

Year of inauguration of the University of Al-Qarawiyyin, the world’s oldest continually operating university. The institution, in Fez, Morocco, is one of the leading educational centres in the Islamic world. Nearer to home, the University of Bologna in Italy is Europe’s oldest – it has been teaching students since 1088.

Age of Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge when he became the world’s oldest person to begin primary school. Maruge enrolled into Standard One at Kapkenduiywo Primary School in Kenya in 2004. Getting into the spirit, Maruge even wore school uniform. His aims: to learn to count money and to become literate enough to read the Bible.

Steven Perryman is AAT Comment's former Content Editor.

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