Plans by Westminster School to joint venture with a Chinese company to build schools in China will lead to more London pupils being able to receive bursaries.
That’s one of the benefits of the scheme, according to this article by The Economist.
Westminster School, London has been involved in educating boys since being founded in 1560 by Queen Elizabeth I to provide lessons for just 40 poor scholars.
Times have changed since then and it currently admits a total of 750 pupils, which now also includes girls.
It charges fees now too, which are currently set at £39,252 a year for boarding pupils or £27,174 for day pupils.
With their fees being at the upper decile of those within the independent school network this means that few students from lower income families seek to apply for a place.
Westminster School, an independent private school, does have a bursary facility, however, it’s less than they would prefer, which is why this new arrangement with a Hong Kong based partner is very interesting.
Joint venture to develop Chinese schools
A ground-breaking ceremony on April 9th marked the start of the construction of Westminster Chengdu, the first stage in a venture with a local partner, Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology Group.
The school is due to open in September 2020 and will have 2,500 pupils from the ages of 3 to 18.
It will be followed by a further five establishments of a similar size in other Chinese cities over the next ten years, by the end of which Westminster will be educating 20 times as many children in China as in the heart of London.
Once up and running, a proportion of the income generated from the Chinese school’s operation will be returned to Westminster School, facilitating an increase to the proportion of pupils eligible to receive a bursary.
Estimates suggest Westminster School will be able to increase the share of pupils on bursaries in Britain from around 5% to 20%.
“It will give us a revenue stream that will allow us to go back to our roots,” says Rodney Harris, deputy headmaster in London, who is moving to Chengdu in September to take the top job there.
Generate bursary funds for UK pupils
It’s hoped that by extending this network of schools into other locations in China the income generated and returned to the school in London will help to improve availability of places for lower-income families
Increase in private schools worldwide
But now the private sector is enjoying a resurgence. Enrolment in private schools has risen globally over the past 15 years, from 10-17% at primary level and from 19-27% at secondary level; the increases are happening not so much in the rich world as in low- and middle-income countries. People are pouring money into schooling, tuition and higher education.
The article discusses how in countries that have a falling birth rate along with a rising income, more people in a family may be able to ‘club together’ to fund a child’s private education.
For example, the net effect of China’s one-child policy has resulted in the situation that in many families there are six people (four grandparents and two parents) who are willing and able to invest in the education of a single child.
You can read the full article at The Economist
Do you know someone who’s received a bursary?
Have you sent your children to a school with the help of a bursary?
Do you know how bursaries are assessed?