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August 28, 2004

Harrow school goes to Beijing

oldschools-portrait

Harrow, the 432-year-old London school whose former pupils include Winston Churchill and Jawaharlal Nehru, plans to open a sixth-form college for pupils over 15 next year in Beijing which will cater almost exclusively to Chinese students.

Although the school will concentrate on the teaching of English, science, economics and business studies, it will also transplant some of the school's traditions, including the straw boater hats

tradition

and the school song.

Peter Siddons, chairman of the Harrow governors, said, "Not all of our traditions are suitable or workable but the boater is certainly a convenient way of getting out of the sun in a hot climate. It is more a question of core values of the school than particular traditions."

Barnaby Lenon, the headmaster, hopes the Beijing school will follow the same path as the Bangkok branch of Harrow, which grew from an office block five years ago to a purpose-built campus, serving more than 1,000 students aged 3 to 18, including some boarders.

Enlarging Harrow Beijing to encompass younger students will require a reform of the Chinese regulation that currently prevents children under 15 from studying in schools with a foreign curriculum.

News of Harrow's second Asian outpost came at the same time another well-known London school, Dulwich College, opened a branch in Shanghai, and underlines the huge appetite in Asia for traditional British education.

Dulwich already has a franchise in Phuket, Thailand, and plans to open four schools in China in the next few years.

Shrewsbury School also has a branch in Thailand and Bromsgrove School has entered into a partnership to build a new school in the Thai capital.

In recent years headmasters at leading British schools have been inundated with invitations to go into partnerships with educational entrepreneurs in Asia.

Eton College,

00d_intro

arguably an even more illustrious "brand" than Harrow, said an international branch had been discussed within the last academic year by the board of governors but had been rejected. [via Jon Boone in The Financial Times]

August 28, 2004 at 03:01 AM | Permalink


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