Julian Jeffrey, Master of Wellington College International, Tianjin
In my sector—education—China has changed beyond almost all recognition in the past 20 years. International schools have set up all across the country and—as that market nears saturation levels—the next wave of innovation, in the form of private bilingual schools, has sprung up. There remains a strong desire for an international education in China. Wider access to bilingual schooling, especially among those schools that are able to draw on the best of Chinese and Western educational practices, will be an area of significant development in the next 20 years. As more and more western-educated young people return to China after their studies abroad, I can see a time when those hugely talented, genuinely bilingual teachers will become the dominant force in private education in the coming years.
Wellington College places its five core values—respect, courage, integrity, responsibility and kindness—at the centre of all our decision-making and our relationships with our community. I see very similar themes and values in the way that the European Chamber supports its members and engages with the institutions of our host nation. The European reputation for tolerance and mutual respect, so hard won over the years, needs organisations such as the European Chamber to show these as living values, not just empty words.
I was delighted, and not a little surprised, to be elected to the European Chamber Tianjin Chapter Board in 2019. It has given me the opportunity not only to represent the education sector to those who wield influence here in the city, but also to play my own part in raising the profile of Europe, its values, customs and businesses, across our community. I am very proud to be part of a body that is so diligent and ambitious in its support for its members. In a world where open dialogue seems to me to more important than ever, the Chamber offers an essential voice to its members that can only go towards raising the profile and influence of European business interests.Julian Jeffrey, Master of Wellington College International, Tianjin