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March 5, 2014

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1st Sino-US high school aims to set new standards for education

THE first ever Sino-US high school to open in the Chinese mainland was officially launched yesterday, and the admission process for its inaugural intake is under way.

Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School is a collaboration between Shanghai Qibao High School and the Dwight School in New York. The full-time boarding school for grades 10 through 12 is designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality education from local and expatriate families, its backers said.

The first intake of 150 students — 100 from Shanghai and 50 from other parts of China and overseas — will begin their studies in September.

Brantley Turner, vice principal of the new school, told Shanghai Daily that the Dwight School, for which she is director of programs for China, was keen to be a partner in the new venture as it offered a “wonderful opportunity to provide education to Chinese nationals.”

The New York school is “very excited to be involved,” she said.

“When we were looking at China, we didn’t want to build an international school and we never tried to get a license to establish our own school,” Turner said.

The Dwight School network has four campuses in New York, London, Seoul and Canada.

The initial focus of the new school will be local students, which is why they are in such a large majority in the inaugural intake, Turner said.

But in the long term it will seek to attract both Chinese and international students, she said.

While there are already many international schools in Shanghai, Turner said she believes there is room for Qibao Dwight as it will offer something new.

“We aim to provide a greater combination of international and local experience,” she said.

Annual tuitions at the school are likely to be between 120,000 yuan (US$19,500) and 150,000 yuan, with the final figure to be determined following a government evaluation.

The school is located at 3233 Hongxin Road in Minhang District, close to Caobao Road and Metro Line 9’s Xingzhong Road Station.


Ni Minjing, director of the Shanghai Education Commission’s basic education department, described the new school as a “breakthrough in Shanghai’s basic education system, especially in curriculum reform.”

The school will offer a wide range of courses that combine the essences of Chinese and Western cultures, he said.

Core Chinese subjects like mathematics, history, geography, Chinese literature and politics will be taught in Mandarin by local teachers, while foreign languages, lab science, arts, computer science and physical education will be delivered either in English or bilingually by foreign tutors.

Because of the many bilingual courses, the school requires local students to have a high English proficiency, equivalent to a score of at least 6 in an IELTS test, 80 in TOEFL or 750 in TOEFL Junior. Preference will also be given to students who excel at academic subjects or sport.

Like most international schools, Qibao Dwight will offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) for 11th- and 12th-graders, and a pre-IB course for 10th-graders. The IBDP provides students with an internationally accepted diploma.

“Once we have IB authorization, which we are in the process of securing, our students can work toward their diplomas,” Turner said.

Graduates of the school will get a double diploma from Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School and the Dwight School in New York, she said.

Authorities in Shanghai have made great efforts in recent years to promote internationalized education. A key milestone was reached last year with the opening of the New York University Shanghai, the first Sino-US joint venture in higher education.

Its establishment took the number of Sino-foreign education programs and institutes in Shanghai to 220.

What New York University Shanghai meant for higher education, Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School can mean for basic education, Ni said.

Fast facts

Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School is the first ever Sino-US high school and will teach 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

The inaugural intake of 150 students — 100 from Shanghai and 50 from elsewhere — will begin their studies in September.

The admission process is under way. International applicants can download application forms from

There is no Chinese-language requirement for international students.

Annual tuitions are expected to be between 120,000 and 150,000 yuan.

The school campus is at 3233 Hongxin Road in Minhang District, close to Caobao Road and Metro Line 9’s Xingzhong Road Station.


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