Britain’s greatest export: education

5 May 2013
For a long time now Britain has been proud to educate far more than its far share of the worlds youth. Pupils travel from around the world to attend boarding schools hidden away in the beautiful surroundings of North Yorkshire or the well known Public schools like Eton, The Manchester Grammar School, St Pauls and Dulwich.

Not only do pupils come here but the schools go the other way. Now if you want a British education why not have it in Singapore, Beijing, Qatar, or Bangkok. Many of our best-known private schools have already set-up shop abroad and of those that haven’t so far, many have plans to do so*.

It is not just private schools making this contribution. Even at a local school I was working with in London the class contained two very inspiring children that had come here for the British experience. The two year 9 pupils’ a Greek girl and a Brazilian boy both told me how their families had moved here to get a British education. One commented “though the weather isn’t as good, our house is much much smaller and it is just so expensive here my parents felt both the education and opportunities were worth the trip.”

For a while now I have pondered what it is that makes the British education so appealing. Is it that English is the lingua franca of the world? The great history British Schools and Universities have? The lack of rote learning in our schools?

I'd be interested to know your thoughts....

*The Economist this week has an excellent article this week “On the playing fields of Shanghai”

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