Clever and fast are adjectives:
Clever as he is, he failed this time. = even though he is clever, he failed this time
Fast as he ran, he misssed the early bus. = even though he ran fast, he missed the early bus
"Student" is not an adjective. You cannot say:
Student as he is, he started his own business.
But you can say "Even though he was a student, he started his own business".
Similarly, you cannot say "Many times as he was questioned, he didn't give any answer".
But you can say "Even though he was questioned many times, he did not give any answer".
Student or Learner