British independent school, Dulwich College International, announced on Thursday plans to open a college in Singapore in August next year.
The college, which will cater to 2,500 students from ages two to 18, will be distinctive in that it will emphasise the learning of Mandarin. Children aged between two and seven will have a full bilingual education where they will be taught by two teachers in English and Mandarin. In the junior school years till age 11, they will have daily Mandarin classes.
Children, from age seven onwards, will also have to sit for an aptitude test before they will be granted a place in the school.
"All our colleges are embracing an academic ethos shaped by eastern rigour and the western holistic approach," said Mr. Christian Guertler, chief executive officer of Dulwich College International, adding that over 20 per cent of Dulwich College graduating students in Asia have gone on to study in the world's top 25 universities such as Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College.
Mr Leo Yip, chairman of the Economic Development Board said: "The availability and quality of international schools form an important part of a country's business infrastructure for attracting investments. The establishment of Dulwich College Singapore will enhance our international school landscape, and support our efforts to attract more global companies to grow their activities here."
Fees will be similar to those charged by high-end international schools - above $20,000 a year.
Dulwich's entry will go some way to ease the crunch on international school places. A few years ago, the problem became acute enough for foreign business chambers to warn that it was a stumbling block for international firms looking to set up here.
Market research shows that there are about 40,000 students in more than 30 international schools here. Four years ago, the number was 32,000 students.