JEJU ISLAND, KOREA--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2012) - With today's official opening of Branksome Hall Asia, English language education in South Korea has taken a significant step forward.
Located in Jeju Global Education City, the new school will follow the same educational philosophy and provide the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as does Branksome Hall, a leading independent girls' school in Toronto.
"We have a marvelous history of educating young women, and now, with our sister school on Jeju Island, Branksome Hall Asia is providing new opportunities to educate girls and to change their lives," said Branksome Hall Principal Karen Jurjevich Murton, who visited Jeju Island for the opening ceremony.
"Branksome Hall is honoured to be the first school in Jeju Global Education City with Canadian roots," said Branksome Hall Asia Board of Governors Chair James R. Christie. "This educational community was created by individuals with great vision and a global outlook. It is a powerful example of international cooperation."
He added: "Korea and Canada have collaborated on one of the worthiest causes I can imagine: educating young people to help shape a better world."
Mr. Christie, who travelled from Toronto for the ceremony, added that Branksome's new Korean campus aligns with the global outlook of the Canadian school.
"The opening of Branksome Hall Asia reflects the spirit of the International Baccalaureate Program and Branksome Hall's vision to be globally minded," he said.
Supporting the theme of international cooperation, all students in Grade 9 at both Branksome Hall and Branksome Hall Asia will have a chance to experience the Jeju and Canada campuses, respectively, through an exchange program.
Students at Branksome Hall Asia will benefit from a state-of-the-art facility for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Visual Arts, a 400-seat Performing Arts Centre, and diverse facilities for summer and winter sports, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a golf academy, and an indoor ice rink.
The opening ceremony on October 29 attracted almost 1,000 dignitaries, students, faculty, and citizens of Jeju Island, as well as alumnae of Branksome Hall Canada. Students of Branksome performed a flag dance to represent collaboration between Canada and Korea.
Ms Jurjevich Murton described the unique cooperation between the Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) and the school to create "an opportunity for more Korean students to obtain a quality Branksome Hall education, in English, without leaving Korean soil," and she praised Branksome Hall Asia Director Peter Kenny for his commitment to launching the school.
"Three years ago, Peter Kenny, Jim Christie, the JDC and I had a vision-our vision was that Branksome Hall would have a sister school on Jeju Island, and today that vision has become a reality," she said. "Our new school will continue the tradition of creating an environment for exceptional academic achievement and helping learners become leaders."
She added that "this is an historic time" for Branksome Hall. "We mark our 110th anniversary during this school year, and, not only are we celebrating the opening of Branksome Hall Asia but we are starting to build a new Athletics and Wellness Centre on our Toronto campus. The centre will benefit our students in Canada as well as the many Branksome Hall Asia students who will visit our campus, on exchanges, in the years to come."
Branksome Hall Background
Established in 1903, Branksome Hall is a leading independent girls' school in downtown Toronto. It is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School whose students, from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12, study the IB curriculum. Branksome Hall offers a Residence Program for girls from Grade 8 through 12.
Graduates are welcomed by top universities around the world, most with scholarships. Ninety-two per cent of its 2012 graduates were offered university entrance scholarships.
Branksome Hall Asia is co-educational from Kindergarten through Grade 3 and girls-only from Grades 4 through 12. Classes began on October 15 with more than 300 students enrolled for the first year. Enrolment is expected to increase to 1,200 students within a few years.