Making quality international education accessible in Hong Kong

The team at Hong-Kong-based Yew Chung International Schools explain how a new scholarship programme is preparing the next generation for the challenges that lie ahead.

Hong Kong education
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 The younger generation, whether currently in, or soon to access, education, will unquestionably be the workforce of the future, driving further globalisation.An international education, as opposed to a mono-national programme, can help to nurture the progressive, adaptable and resourceful people this new employment landscape will demand.

The spread of high-quality international education

Dr Betty Chan, director and school supervisor of Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) and Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS), believes that high-quality international education should be made accessible to as many of this new generation as possible. She also believes that even local schools in Hong Kong should provide a more holistic learning experience, to contribute to the future workforce of Hong Kong and the wider world.Education, Dr Chan thinks, is the window to a bright and prosperous future, and should not be restricted to the few. Norm Dean, deputy director of YCEF and YCIS, also has a very specific vision for an internationally minded education system.“International-mindedness is not about resources or facilities – it is, at its core, about a paradigm and ethos which value social justice, diversity, a sustainable planet, community partnerships, and intellectual rigour through experiential learning,” says Mr Dean.YCIS’s educational philosophy advocates a curriculum that combines Eastern and Western languages and cultures. All YCIS students are encouraged to be bilingual and have an appreciation and understanding of both sets of values.
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Asia home to workforce of tomorrow

Asia’s concentration of international schools, particularly in Hong Kong, makes it a unique centre for the workforce of tomorrow to advance alongside the dramatic growth
that is expected.“Indicators show that Asia, in particular economically, is on the rise, and future growth is predicted. We, as educators, have a responsibility to meet these challenges. Hong Kong is in a unique position, considering its geographical location,
its history, and its reputation as an international financial centre. Education, therefore, must look forward, be progressive and flexible, and pass these skills on to the workforce of the future,” Norm Dean says.“Asia’s academic strength is proved by its test results, but there is a lack in less-academic areas, such as creative problem-solving and critical thinking. In traditional systems, learning tends to be focused on exams rather than all-round development.“I believe that children need to be agile and dexterous in their way of thinking, nurture the development of creative responses, and learn to be critical thinkers. It is possible that parents don’t think about the importance and value of this in the long term.“Arts development increases brain development, which naturally leads to advancement across other areas. It is the responsibility of educators today to promote creative and critical thinkers. No longer is an exam score sufficient for job success,” Mr Dean concludes.To demonstrate Dr Chan’s belief that quality international education should be accessible to a wider community, YCIS has introduced a scholarship programme that offers full or partial exemption from tuition fees for up to seven years.The scholarships assist students who demonstrate excellent academic achievement, high behavioural standards, and a commitment to serving their school and community, as well as those who excel in creativity, critical thinking, leadership, and team spirit. They can be received on entry to Lower Secondary (Years 7–9), from IGCSE (Year 10),
or on entering the IB Diploma Programme (Year 12).For further details of the scholarships, and to download an application form, visit
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APAC Education Guide 2017

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