Branksome Hall Asia, one of Canada's most renowned private girls' schools aiming to become a cradle for next-generation, globally minded female leaders, held a ground-breaking ceremony on June 30 in Jeju, South Korea. About 1,000 people participated in the ceremony, held at the construction site of Jeju Global Education City, Daejung-eup, Seogwipo City, Jeju.
In addition, Karen Murton, principal of Branksome Hall Canada, representatives from the school and Korean alumni of the school also attended the ceremony to celebrate the first day of construction. With the start of construction, Jeju Global Education City is building a stronger foundation to become an educational hub for Northeast Asia. Founded in 1903, Branksome Hall, located in Toronto, a center of the Canadian economy, is a premier school for girls in Canada, offering an International Baccalaureate (IB) degree to all students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. All Branksome graduates go on to university and 75% of them are admitted to their first-choice universities.
In addition, 95% of applicants are offered university entrance scholarships. All these numbers point to the school's outstanding academic performance. When Noble & Greenough takes its place in Jeju, following North London Collegiate School Jeju and Branksome Hall Asia, which will open in September 2011 and September 2012 respectively, as well as Korea International School Jeju, the country's first international public school, Jeju will truly emerge as the best education city in Asia.
Branksome Hall Asia, which will open its doors to 1,200 students, will be built with a gross floor area of 81,525 m2 - including dormitories - on a 94,955 m2 site. It will house world-class facilities, including indoor swimming pool, indoor gym, theaters and auditorium. The design for BHA was selected through an international competition, stressing harmony between the school and the adjacent environment as well as organic functions of and interaction with school facilities. The design concept for BHA is based on the natural environment of Jeju and the understanding of culture and tradition of Jeju to offer educational inspiration in eco-friendly facilities.
With cutting-edge facilities, the highly-qualified staff at BHA will educate the next generation of global female talents based on quality educational programs and curricula with a proven track record. BHA will offer IB programs to all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, while following the same 110-year-old educational philosophy and system as the main campus in Canada. The Jeju campus will also provide a chance to learn and live in an English immersion environment. Additional planned programs include a variety of creative learning programs, after-school activities, learning partnerships and student exchanges with the campus in Canada.
BHA students who finish the IB Diploma Program will see their diplomas officially recognized both in Korea and Canada, so they can apply to universities at home and abroad. In addition, they can get priority and scholarships when they go on to the world's prestigious universities, such as the US Ivy League. Meanwhile, JDC plans to focus mainly on campus construction, faculty recruitment and promotions to attract the best students and ensure that Branksome Hall Asia will successfully open in September 2012. Most of all, JDC will ensure that public utilities, services and other facilities are in place so that students and staff can successfully settle in a new environment.