Haileybury opens international campus in Tianjin
Prestigious Melbourne school, Haileybury College has opened its first China campus in Tianjin through a joint venture partnership with Beijing Capital Land.
Dr Nicholas Dwyer, Vice-Principal of Haileybury College Melbourne and Principal of the new Haileybury International School, says he believes the school is a first in China in which a foreign school has set up a campus specifically for Chinese students in China.
The school forms part of a major high-end residential development in the Beijing-Tianjin corridor being developed by Hong Kong-listed BCL, whose major shareholders include the City of Beijing and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. The school sits 50km from the centre of Beijing in the district of Wuqing on the outskirts of the booming city of Tianjin.
Once fully completed, the school will accommodate 1,200 students. Geared to the growing number of Chinese middle-class parents seeking an international school education for their children and a pathway to university overseas, the school follows a standardised Chinese curriculum to Year 9, but with considerable additional emphasis on English. From Year 10, the school offers the Australian VCE up to Year 12, with Australian teachers – the majority from Haileybury College Melbourne – making up half the teaching body.
As a boarding school, the international college is expected to attract students from nearby Beijing, Tianjin and other parts of north-east China. Haileybury International School is licensed by the Tianjin Education Bureau as a Chinese private school. It will also incorporate a residential Haileybury Australia section for Year 9 students from Melbourne as part of the school’s ethos of enhancing the international outlook of its students both in China and Australia.
“From this year, Australian students in Melbourne and Chinese students in Beijing share the one school,” said Dr Dwyer. “Now, we can truly say that our students will graduate as world citizens.”
Haileybury College Melbourne is one of Australia’s largest independent schools with 3,500 students across three campuses in Melbourne. It has led the way in pursuing opportunities in the lucrative Chinese secondary education market since launching Australia’s first international VCE program in the Chinese city of Ningbo in 2002. The Haileybury VCE programme now incorporates eight middle schools across China sending approximately 250 Chinese students per year to Australian universities. In 2011, the Haileybury-Ivanhoe International VCE Centre – a collaboration between the two Victorian schools and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority – was launched in Shanghai to assist other Victorian schools initiate their own Chinese partnerships using the Haileybury VCE in China model. The Haileybury International School is the next step in tapping into further opportunities in the Chinese education market.
“Our experience has shown that Australia has a great school education system – one that China, in particular, would like to share,” says Dr Dwyer.
“Australian schools should follow Australian universities into China. Once this happens, Australia will be properly connected to its future.” The Haileybury International School opened in September, and is currently running a Year 7 and a Year 10 class. It will hold its formal opening in September 2014. ■
Pictured above: The new Haileybury International School sits conveniently between two of China’s most affluent cities – Beijing and Tianjin.