Overseas Marketing Trip – Visiting Sister Schools & Trade Delegation
For the last two weeks I have been visiting our Sister Schools in Japan and meeting with parents of our current International School students in Hong Kong. In addition to this, I joined a Queensland Trade Delegation promoting Queensland education, both schooling and tertiary, in Hong Kong and Macau.
At the Trade Delegation, I shared the work we are doing to support the development of key 21st Century Skills with our Realms of Thinking and the work we have done to develop a third pathway for learning: an entrepreneurial pathway. This work garnered significant interest both from international educators as well as other schools from around Australia. In fact, some of these Australian schools are so impressed with the work being undertaken at St Paul’s that they have booked visits to come and see first hand what is happening on our campus. High praise indeed.
What was certainly evident, was the high regard in which the Australian education system is held by the families in each of those countries, and their keen interest in the key skills that students need to have to be successful in the world of tomorrow.
As you would expect, each of those countries is very business-oriented with the most sought-after tertiary pathway being Business Studies. The people of those countries recognise that opportunities in the future will be found in young people’s ability to think like an innovator.
But I was surprised to hear parents had a particular interest in a young person’s character development. Traditionally, we think of Asian cultures as being driven for academic success, but they too recognise that happiness, or fulfilment in life, isn’t found in material things or a successful career, but that relationships and character matter above all else.
Each of the schools that formed part of the Trade Delegation were able to share their particular emphasis on the development of the whole person. Perhaps this is to be expected, as all of the eight schools represented were “independent schools”; and independent schools traditionally have a strong focus on a holistic education.
As always, it is interesting visiting other schools across the world to see what they are doing. There is so much to learn from each other. However, what I am constantly reminded of when I visit schools across the world is how fortunate we are in Australia. We often lament about our lot in life, but we really are extraordinarily lucky, and our children have remarkable opportunities.
Dr Paul Browning