Branksome Hall

Branksome Hall

July 07, 2010 11:40 ET

Branksome Hall to Open a School on Jeju Island, South Korea

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 7, 2010) - On July 7, Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) Chairman & CEO Byon Jong-il will sign a Co-operative Venture Agreement (CVA) with Branksome Hall to establish an overseas campus of the world-renowned Toronto independent school. Branksome Hall Asia will become the second partner school to open in the Global Education City. A major step in the Jeju Global Education City's quest to become the education hub of Northeast Asia, the signing will be conducted July 7, at 1:30 p.m., at Branksome Hall, 2 Elm Avenue. The new school is scheduled to open in September 2012.

Established in 1903 in Toronto, Canada, as an independent school for girls, Branksome Hall is now a leading International Baccalaureate World School. The school educates girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and provides a boarding program for senior students from around the world. 

"Branksome Hall is honoured to have been invited by the South Korean government to open a school on Jeju Island," says Branksome Hall Board of Governors Chair James R. Christie. "An international campus will be in keeping with our vision to be globally minded and with the spirit of the International Baccalaureate Program."

"When our students graduate from Branksome Hall, they will go on to study and work in a global environment," says Principal Karen Murton. "As such, increased access to global opportunities and global understanding will only help them in their efforts to shape a better world." Branksome Hall Asia will "complement our existing programs through student exchanges and residential trips," she adds. "It will also allow access to a Branksome education for students throughout Northeast Asia."

The Jeju Global Education City, with its picturesque, pastoral ambience, is situated within two hours of 700 million people, "more than twice the population of the U.S. and Canada combined," says Jeju Global Education City Project Manager Christopher Bogden. While some Korean students already study at Branksome Hall in Toronto, an increased number of Korean students will be able to take advantage of Branksome's IB Program and its philosophy of inspiring and nurturing globally minded learners and leaders. The school will also provide quality educational opportunities to students from outside Korea, including some of the 90 million Chinese primary and secondary students, 210,000 of whom currently study abroad.

Byon Jong-il, Chairman & CEO of the JDC, which is spearheading the Education City project, believes Jeju Island is the best choice for international education because of its natural environment as well as the fact that local and foreign investors can enjoy tax and investment benefits. With Mount Halla in the distance and surrounded by preserved natural forests, the site of the Education City is less than a 15-minute drive from Jeju's picturesque southern coast. "The environment surrounding the Education City offers an array of extra-curricular opportunities.

Sea kayaking, scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking and golf are all available within a short distance," Byon says.

Memorandums of understanding have been signed with other prestigious schools in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The goal is for Jeju's 3.7-million-square-metre Education City to house up to 12 elementary, middle and high schools, a university zone, residential and cultural facilities, as well as commercial amenities. 

The Education City will be Korea's first education-focused city - fully functional and self-sufficient - where English is the primary language, both inside and outside of the classroom. Bogden explains: "The intent is to educate all the children in these schools in English to create an immersion environment for them," and "the English language will fuse everything happening educationally, commercially and residentially."

The Global Education City will accommodate up to 9,000 students from Kindergarten through high school level once the school zone is completed. Plans for the university zone call for 10 or more universities to share a campus. With the exception of classes in Korean language and Korean history, all instruction will be in English. Businesses that are invited to set up in the city must also use English in everyday commerce.

JDC chose Itami Jun, a famous Korean-Japanese architect, as master architect for the city to ensure that "it all works together synergistically with the environment." Jun, who has designed several site-specific projects for Jeju previously, said he aims to incorporate Jeju's natural beauty into a specifically functional space.

Contact Information

  • Jeju Global Education City
    Christopher Bogden
    Project Manager
    Cell 1-607-227-5322 or Tel. +82-64-797-5610
    +82-64-745-5938 (FAX)
    Branksome Hall
    Julia Drake
    Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
    416-920-6265, ext. 103