Haileybury last night signed an agreement with Kazakhstan-based international developers, Capital Partners, to develop a school reflecting Haileybury’s values in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Haileybury-Almaty will be the first British independent school to open in Central Asia, further expanding the global trend for the export of British schooling.
Building begins on the greenfield site, which is centrally located in Almaty on Al Farabi Avenue, on the banks of the Esentai River, in May 2007 and Haileybury-Almaty will welcome its first pupils in September 2008.
Recognising the demand for a British-affiliated educational establishment, Capital Partners is managing the development of the new school in Almaty. "We enjoy strong links with Kazakhstan, a country experiencing extraordinary levels of inward investment and economic growth – over nine percent in the first half of 2006," says Capital Partners Director of Educational Development, Alister Bartholomew.
"With this school, we want to make our contribution towards complementing this incredible growth, adding a new alternative to the country’s existing schooling provision."
The co-educational school will ultimately cater for pupils between the ages of 3 and 18 and will follow the British curriculum, the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSEs) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the Sixth Form. In contrast to many other British schools abroad, Haileybury-Almaty will focus on the education of local pupils rather than the children of expats. Although most classes will be taught in English, the school will also focus on the teaching of the Kazakh language and history, with cultural considerations paramount. Capital Partners has been collaborating closely with the Kazakh Education and Science Ministry throughout the project.
Haileybury-Almaty aims initially to have 640 pupils, with room for expansion to 940. Up to 80 percent of the students are expected to be Kazakh nationals, and the remainder are likely to be children from the international diplomatic and business communities.
Master of Haileybury, Stuart Westley, says: "Haileybury is delighted to be part of this exciting opportunity which reflects the great interest in and respect for the values of the British public school clearly evident now in many parts of the world."
Haileybury already has strong connections with Kazakhstan, with 14 Kazakh pupils currently at the school and another nine having attended the school in previous years.
Among the guests at the signing ceremony were Serzhan Zhumashov, the Chairman of Capital Partners, and Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, the Chairman of Kazkommertsbank which recently listed on the London Stock Exchange. They were joined by George Staple, the Chairman of the Haileybury Council, and Michael Gatenby, the Chairman of Haileybury’s Finance & General Purposes Committee.
To make the concept a reality, Capital Partners have brought together a group of top consultants, including the Schools Architecture division of HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.), environmental engineering experts Arup, and Edicts, specialists in Information and Communications Technology in education. The school will be built by Enka, one of the largest construction companies in the world.