Is British Education a Global Commodity?
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Is British Education a Global Commodity?

Is British Education a Global Commodity?

In this globalised world, the amount of quality products in an expanding, international marketplace has left us truly spoilt for choice.  You might buy your car from Germany, your watch from Switzerland, your wine from France and your laptop from Japan. You can do all the research, and often even the purchasing, from the comfort of your home in Perth, Wyoming or Chang Mei; each of us has the power to access a Universal Cyber-Bazaar in our very fingertips. But there are some important things we don’t always think of buying globally- even when quality and integrity are the most important factors.

For example, education.

As parents, what is more important to us than the than the well-being and happiness of our children? Do we wish for anything less than their mental and physical health; do we dream of their future success? The answer is undoubtedly a global, unanimous yes, and yet, few of us look in our own country, let alone the rest of the world, for the best possible fit for our child; we neglect to seek out that golden institution where he or she will not only grow, but flourish, into the best adult they can be.

Traditional British boarding schools, where children live and study throughout the school semester, have well over a thousand years of history- more than enough time to develop and get things right. The King’s School, Canterbury, is generally considered to be the world’s oldest boarding school, having been founded in 597AD. Winchester College began in 1382 and Oswestry School in 1407, respectively- the oldest boarding schools in the world continue to operate, with an ancient reputation for prestige that continues to grow and to thrive.

For centuries, boarding schools have been the choice of British parents. They became particularly popular during the days of the British Empire, when British parents from all over the world were sent back to the UK for their schooling. Even now, generations have passed but there are far more British than American children attending boarding schools. The reason remains more or less the same; a belief that a boarding school education can enable children to develop wider horizons than their family life alone can provide. As well as learning from passionate, dedicated teachers and boarding in fabulous surroundings, children have access every day, evening and weekend to the school’s outstanding facilities- from world-class swimming pools and hockey pitches, to inspiring theatres for drama and debating, and incredibly creative art rooms and design technology suites. The myriad activities offered at British boarding schools means that your child will never be pigeonholed.

What is different today is that the top-quality and particular culture of a British boarding school education is now accessible for all. Last year, in addition to 488,000 British children staying in these schools, over 24,000 children came from overseas; from the U.S, Australia, Russia and China, from France, Italy, Germany and Japan- the discerning parents of the world are looking to buy the best.

The British education system is world-class and that is one reason why the UK continually punches far above its weight. A tiny country in world terms, Britain nevertheless has a staggering four of the six top performing universities in the world and its boarding schools include Eton, Harrow, Westminster School, Cheltenham Ladies College, Brighton College and also Taunton School.

You may not have heard of all of these schools, but will certainly have got word of a school by the name of Hogwarts. Muggles at school in the UK may not get the chance to learn about magic, but they certainly will be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. More seriously, leaving school with internationally recognised qualifications will grant them a foot in the door to any university in the world, with a head start over their American peers in terms of what they can include in their personal statement, and a more realistic understanding of the wider world, including how to build relationships with people from all over the globe- a huge advantage in tomorrow’s world of work.

The support that a system with, on average, nine students to every teacher can give your child is amazing. The pastoral care is second to none and the atmosphere of calm respect that you feel as you walk in the door results in a sense of responsible duty that will serve your son or daughter well for the entirety of their life.

At a British boarding school, your child will gain a valuable network of friends and future colleagues from all over the world. They will learn how to be a respectful and responsible, universal citizen, and this will lead to them being making the decisions in the future, global marketplace.

This article first appeared on Latin Correspondent.