Westminster School Scraps Their Ambitious China Plan
After 3 years of intensive construction of a facility with a 2,000 student capacity and an active PR campaign in China, the prestigious UK private school has shut its Chengdu campus. At the same time, the school announced it will be pulling out of China.
The Chengdu campus was the first time the Westminster School name was used outside the UK. By licensing the rights to use its name via Westminster School’s own company Floreat Overseas Holdings, the school planned to provide consulting services to ensure that the same quality of education was offered in its Chengdu campus. Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology Group (HKMETG), the actual operator of the Chengdu campus, fully funded the project.
Chinese media reports that this decision was due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and “recent changes in Chinese education policy” forcing the school to axe the project, while UK media reports the decision was due to a “crackdown” on foreign teaching and curriculum control. This not only results in a shortage of Chinese K-12 students who can “receive international standard teaching” at their doorstep but also lets down the UK financial plan of using Chinese tuition money to create more scholarships. It’s a “stillborn”, said Chinese Media.