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One whirlwind week in June saw Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment International Education, take a tour of China to visit Cambridge schools and Cambridge Associates.
In Guangdong Province, Michael signed a Cambridge Associate agreement with Country Garden Education Investment Management, a subsidiary of Country Garden and leader in bilingual education and international curriculum. Michael expressed his belief that Cambridge Assessment International Education and Country Garden share the same goal: to change more lives in China through the provision of high-quality education.
Next stop: Chengdu – home of the giant panda – to visit Shishi High School, where Michael met a delegation of UK politicians from the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG). Standing on the site of the first Chinese public school, founded in the Han Dynasty between 143 BC and 141 BC, Shishi High School is the oldest school in the world. Michael and the UK Members of Parliament (MPs) enjoyed a tour of the school campus, each with their own student guide drawn from the Cambridge International A Level class. Michael commented, ‘The students handled the tour very well, leaving the MPs with a deep impression of what these programmes achieve.’
In Chengdu, Michael also visited Confucius International School Chengdu and watched students performing ‘the New Six Arts’, which is based on the research of Confucius' educational philosophies and beliefs, integrated with Western education.
The fast-paced trip continued in Beijing, where Michael met with EduChina – a Cambridge Associate – to launch three new Cambridge Associate Schools. The ceremony took place in Beijing No 35 High School, which has recently registered as a Cambridge International School and which was also launched at the ceremony. At a press conference after the event, Michael – who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese – talked about international education development in China. With a partner like EduChina, Cambridge is offering students in coastal as well as in inland cities an international education and the prospects it brings for further study and future employment.
Whilst in Beijing, Michael also visited the Chaoyang Campus of RDFZ – the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China – where he was impressed by the school facilities, quality of teaching and student performance.
The final stop was Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), to sign another Cambridge Associate agreement. As an old friend of BFSU, Michael commented that he is looking forward to our two organisations working together to change students’ lives.
Photograph shows Michael O’Sullivan (centre) visiting the Confucius Academy, Chengdu, China with Chairman Kong. The schools run by Mr Kong are adopting an increasing number of Cambridge IGCSEs and Cambridge International A levels.