Harrow seminar attracts large crowd with Qianhai school

The Vanke International Conference Center in Qianhai was packed with hundreds of families for an education seminar held on Sept. 20 by a famous British private boarding school, which announced its new school will open in Qianhai in 2020.

The 450-year-old Harrow School, known for its commitment to morality and academic rigor, will set up an international school in Qianhai next year and a bilingual school in 2021 in cooperation with the Qianhai authority.This is an important step for Qianhai to improve its business environment and attract high-end talents from around the world, said Ni Yong, deputy director of the Qianhai Cooperation Zone Authority, at the seminar.

The Harrow International School (HIS) Shenzhen Qianhai will enroll up to 2,000 students on its 40,000-square-meter campus in Qianhai with facilities catering to the needs of a K-12 full-time school. In the first phase, HIS Shenzhen Qianhai will accept students from kindergarten to early Prep School (Grade 8) age. The bilingual Harrow Innovation Leadership Academy Shenzhen Qianhai will open in 2021.

Harrow, which was founded in London in 1572 under a Royal charter granted by Elizabeth I, now has more than 20 years of experience in Asia since opening its first HIS in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1998. It has already opened three other international schools in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

According to Rosanna Wong, chairperson of Asia International School Limited (AISL) — which manages the operation of HIS in Asia — many students who graduate from the Harrow schools each year take up places at world-renowned universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy League schools. “The achievements prove that our operations in Asia are successful — our teaching quality, our unique curriculum that has been tested for years... our first-hand, rich experience in operating schools in local markets are valuable to parents when making decisions for their children’s education,” Wong told the seminar.

A mother at the seminar said she has been considering transferring her 11-year-old child to the Harrow Qianhai school since first hearing the news of a Harrow school opening in Qianhai in late July. She said her child, who is studying at another international school in Shenzhen, twice joined the HIS Bangkok summer camp and really liked it.

According to Michael Farley, director of Group Operations for AISL, the quality pastoral support given to its students on an individualized basis is one of the advantages HIS enjoys over other international schools in the city. Under Harrow’s pastoral care, the students “are safe, happy, directed and grow to love their school, which I think is important to reach their academic potential,” Farley said in an exclusive interview with the Shenzhen Daily.

He said Harrow is determined to ensure that HIS students are developed as “real people, complete individuals with expertise ... as Harrow will make sure its young people have the opportunity to really express themselves and follow their passions, not just in the classroom but also outside the classroom.”

The Qianhai school will be developed as a flagship Harrow educational project in China and will bring world-class international education and British boarding services to families in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and across China, said David Shinkfield, head of Harrow Beijing and the soon-to-be headmaster of Harrow Shenzhen Qianhai.