Marlborough College, a prestigious boarding school in the UK will open its first-ever offshore campus in a 36.4-ha Malaysia campus located in Iskandar Malaysia in August, increasing the international school options available to parents in the country.
The independent boarding school's alumni include the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton and war poet Seigfried Sassoon.
While on a two-day visit to Singapore, Robert Pick, Master of Marlborough College Malaysia, promoted the new campus, which eyes the children of expatriates and locals from Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere in the region. Marlborough College Malaysia is the first step of the boarding school's plan to establish itself as an educational institution across the globe.
"We decided that Marlborough in the UK had become rather monocultural and Anglo-centric, and needed to prepare young people better to become global citizens," said Pick.
"The long-term plan is to establish a global network of Marlborough schools with the intention that pupils can exchange between the schools and... be exposed to other cultures at an earlier age to prepare them for working in places beyond their home country," he noted.
Marlborough chose Malaysia as the site of its first overseas campus because it believes South-east Asia will be the 'powerhouse of the 21st century'. Proximity to Singapore was also another vital factor.
Clearing out on competition with other international schools, Pick said that, "Within Singapore, there is a huge demand for international schools of a high quality, both from the Singaporeans and the expat community. We see ourselves as possibly filling a void, or certainly helping a rather oversubscribed market."
In fact, international schools in the region should see opening of Marlborough College Malaysia as good news, he added.
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