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2nd private foreign school breaks ground on Jeju Island

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Published : 2011-06-30 19:54
Updated : 2011-06-30 19:54

The second private international school broke ground on Thursday in Jeju Global Education City, a government-led development project on the Jeju Island meant to turn the island into a leading English education hub in Asia.

The Jeju Free International City Development Center held the ground-breaking ceremony for Branksome Hall Asia, the Korean branch of Branksome Hall Canada, a premier private girls’ school in Toronto.

The 94,955-square meter campus is scheduled to open next September to admit Korean and foreign girls from kindergarten to grade 12.
A bird’s eye view of Jeju Global Education City

It will then become the second private international school in the JGEC, following North London Collegiate School Jeju, which had broken ground last August and is slated to start its first semester this fall.

The Korean International School, a public school which broke ground last year, is currently under construction.

The curriculum of Branksome Hall Asia will be identical to that of Branksome Hall Canada, so it will offer International Baccalaureate and exchange programs to all its students.

The admission announcement is scheduled for this September and the student selection will be administered by Branksome Hall Canada.

The admission process consists of an application review, written test and a face-to-face interview, officials said.

Founded by Margaret Scott in 1903, Branksome Hall is a leading private school in Canada, recognized for the academic performance of its graduates, with 100 percent of them going to university and 75 percent admitted to their first-choice of institution.

The city is being built under a massive educational plan by the Korean government to embrace the ever-rising number of students moving abroad to learn English and benefit from global education systems.

Its blueprint was announced in 2006 by the Finance Ministry under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, and the plan was detailed by the land ministry in 2009.

The core part of the plan is to locate a total of 12 prestigious international schools in the education city by 2015, officials said.

Also, residential and commercial zones to accommodate more than 5,000 households will be established along with the schools.

The government expects that the 1.78 trillion won ($1.67 billion) education city project will bring production output worth more than 2 trillion won and create jobs for more than 20,000 people.

It will also attract Korean students who are considering going abroad to study, as well as foreign students from nearby Asian states, officials said.

“The JGEC will provide students with extensive education experiences in English, together with diverse facilities and an unpolluted natural environment,” said JDC Chairman Byon Jong-il.

“The opening of NLCS Jeju and Branksome Hall Asia will further demonstrate the city as the best place for education in English and prove that Korea is competent to offer top quality education in English.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)