UK Schools Lining Up for China Expansion
One of the UK’s oldest public schools, Westminster School, plans to establish 6 bilingual schools in China with the first one opening in Chengdu (catering for 3- to 18-year-olds). The school will be open to both Chinese and non-Chinese passport holders and will teach pupils aged 6 to 15 China’s national curriculum. The Chengdu school expects to open its doors in 2020, with the 6th school opening in 2028.
There are reports of Westminster School receiving a consultancy fee from the Hong Kong agent which is the driving force behind this venture and that the income from this international partnership will help subsidize talented students entering the school in London.
According to UK Education Weekly, there are a number of other UK schools said to be opening branches in China in the near future, including Wellington College, King’s College School, Fettes College, Pate’s Grammar School,Adcote School, Sedbergh School and Uppingham School. King’s College School has announced its ambition, in 2014, of opening 20 schools in China, yet currently there are only 2 schools (in Wuxi,Jiangsu and Shenzhen, Guangdong).
These ventures appear to be in contradiction to the MoE’s current policy of not encouraging foreign parties to become involved in China’s compulsory education (up to year 9). There also appears to be very clear policy discrepancies for different parts of China (i.e. Chengdu and Shanghai). However, at this stage it is simply too early to determine or even predict the fate of such bilingual schools in China.