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SUIS means East meets West

SHANGHAI is gradually waking up to the fact that the international community needs a new model of education. For a long time it was presumed that Chinese needed a Chinese model and Westerners needed their own separate mode. So we have Chinese-owned schools, with added bits of Western curriculum and foreign-owned schools with added bits of Chinese curriculum.

With the development of Shanghai United International School, real international education has come of age. The vision of Shanghai United International School's founder Professor Hu Wei ¨? a far-sighted educationalist with a passion for East meets West ¨? is to take the best from both Chinese and Western education systems and fuse them into one demanding concept.

Its gold-standard International Baccalaureate (IB) programs are integrated with the strong local Chinese, Chinese culture and math education to form the powerful integrated model that parents and students are embracing.

SUIS schools are managed by co-principals (a Western and a Chinese) who together ensure that East really does meet West. SUIS presently has 34 nationalities ¨? with Chinese nationals well represented.

Students flourish in the child-centered IB programs where they follow a "concept-driven" curriculum, enabling them to understand the reasons "why" things happen, instead of simply memorizing facts (which are often forgotten as quickly as they were learned).

With two teachers in the class (one Western, one Chinese) the learning atmosphere is very dynamic. From an early age, children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

A typical student comment: "I really like learning new stuff every day, and I enjoy doing research with other kids. The world is our library and the teacher never holds us back."

Then students add the rigors of learning either a first or second language, Chinese along with Chinese culture studies and, of course, math. Students seem to cope naturally well with the high demands of Chinese math study, and then they do what Western math does so well ¨? use math to solve real-life problems.

This August the SUIS family will expand as the new SUIS Jiaoke campus comes on line. A year later, the Wanyuan campus will open its doors. Thus, more and more parents will discover that they can provide an education for their child that ensures fluency in English and Chinese, pleasure in learning and the solid infrastructure provided by the Chinese system.

With their low fees, SUIS schools do not have the funds for extensive advertising campaigns. Instead, word-of-mouth advertising is the medium, with parents talking to other parents.

Above all, SUIS appears to be mirroring what Shanghai has itself become: a dynamic melting pot of East meets West where both dimensions can offer something to each other, and where the fusion is producing powerful results. This means happy, confident, competent, well-educated, independent students, many of whom will become tomorrow's leaders. As the IB says: "Together, we can change the world."

SUIS Hongqiao campus

Address: 999 Hongquan Rd, Minhang District

Tel: 3431-0090

SUIS Pudong campus

Address: 48 Xueye Rd, Pudong New Area

Tel: 5886-9990


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