Reigate Grammar School has signed a partnership to open a school in Vietnam, the first time a UK independent school has expanded its international reach to the southeast Asian country.
Although international schools are increasingly commonplace in the UK independent school sector, none has so far expanded into Vietnam: the school, serving children from pre-kindergarten to the sixth form, will be the first of its kind.
The International School of Vietnam (ISV) in Hanoi was founded nine years ago as a not-for-profit venture. The partnership with Reigate Grammar School (RGS), which will act as its UK parent school, means the school will adopt many aspects of RGS culture and life – not to mention its name, becoming Reigate Grammar School Vietnam.
The school will offer IGCSEs, A-levels and the International Baccalaureate. RGS plans for a spin-off sixth form college in Hanoi in 2023 – and potentially a third secondary school in the years following.
Vietnamese ambassador to the UK, Nguyen Hoang Long, hosted an event where RGS and ISV signed contracts, attended by their new educational partners and British Consul General for Vietnam, Emily Hamblin, via a video link from Vietnam.
The school will serve the international and local communities. RGS already has three international schools in China – and an agreement in Morocco to open another.
At RGS, we relish the fact that all of us, our students and the whole Reigatian community are all part of a global community – Shaun Fenton, Reigate Grammar School
Hamblin described it as “a milestone moment for our UK-Vietnam education partnership”.
“We are celebrating the first independent UK school to have a franchise and trademark in Vietnam. High-quality education is needed now more than ever,” said Hamblin.
The new partnership has received support from both the UK and Vietnamese governments. At the signing ceremony, Long said: “This is a flagship project and an example for others to follow.”
RGS headmaster Shaun Fenton said: “This is a great opportunity for us, and a privilege, to be able to take the outstanding education that RGS provides into a fascinating and vibrant part of Asia.
“In Vietnam, British education has a strong reputation, and the partnership will provide wonderful opportunities for our pupils and staff in Britain to visit the new school on exchange programmes. At RGS, we relish the fact that all of us, our students and the whole Reigatian community are all part of a global community.
“This is an opportunity to create a new paradigm, blending the best of two cultures and two education traditions to create a unique school environment focused on personal development, high achievement and supporting children into world-class universities.”