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Southlands School

Southlands student becomes youngest person ever to complete university computer course

Ben Robertson, a 15-year-old student at Southlands School in Lymington, has completed the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) course in Network Fundamentals at Bournemouth University.

Ben, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is thought to be youngest person in the country to have completed the industry-accredited course.

He completed the programme in 15 weeks, visiting Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus on a Wednesday afternoon to work alongside staff and students.

The qualification is normally intended for network professionals and certifies the ability to install, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized computer networks.

“I thought the course sounded interesting,” he said. “I enjoyed most of it but it was difficult. I now know how to link-up computers and get them to work and more about how the internet works.”

He added that computer networking is now something that he would possibly like to go into as a career.

“I liked the practical side of it - having to link-up different computers to a network and making sure that they all actually work,” he said. “It feels pretty good to have completed the course and everyone is proud of me.”

Ben was presented with a certificate for completing the course by Professor Jim Roach, Dean of BU’s School of Design, Engineering and Computing.

Professor Roach said: “It’s a qualification that is recognised across the industry and you can take it wherever you want to go. It’s something to be really proud of.”

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