Great Scot Archive
Issues from 1998
Issues from 1998


Scotch signs Exchange Partnership Agreement with Beijing University High School

Dr Donaldson and Mr Pingsheng

Dr Donaldson with the Vice-Principal
of Beijing University High School, Mr Ren Pingsheng

On Friday, 11 February 2005, the Principal, Dr Gordon Donaldson, and the Vice-Principal of Beijing University High School, Mr Ren Pingsheng, warmly shook hands after signing an historic exchange partnership agreement between their schools. The signing ceremony took place during the Senior School Assembly in the presence of the Education Vice-Consul of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China, Melbourne, and staff and students of Scotch College, and concluded with a rousing round of applause from all present.

This Agreement marks the start of a new era in relations between the two schools, following three visits by Scotch College students and teachers of Chinese to Beijing University High School in 1997, 2000 and 2004, and now in February 2005 the first visit of a delegation of 10 students and two staff from Beijing to Scotch College. The Scotch group on each occasion stayed on campus at the school in Beijing, where students attended some classes in Chinese language, Calligraphy, and Martial Arts, played sport with the Beijing students, and enjoyed the generous hospitality of families in the school community through home stay and visits. All members of the Beijing group were warmly hosted by Scotch families and enjoyed a busy program of class visits, excursions to Sovereign Hill and Healesville Sanctuary, and activities with their hosts.

Beijing University High School is one of China’s most prestigious schools and is well known for its outstanding academic record. It was founded in 1960, has been the centre for applied educational research for Beijing University (China’s most famous and most prestigious university) and its current Principal is a Professor of Education from the university. Over 3000 students attend the school. Many are local Beijing residents, often the children of Beijing University academics, government officials or the successful business people of the new middle class. The school selects its students through entrance examinations, and students from all over China compete for a place there. For over 40 years the school has also recruited foreign students and welcomed groups from schools in other countries to visit. Some 800 students attend the school as boarders.

The signing of the Agreement opens a new era in relations between the two schools. While both schools are committed to continue short-term visits by larger groups, there is as well a mutual desire to develop other initiatives such as longer-term student exchange visits, some teacher exchanges, and to offer dedicated language tuition for visiting language groups. Such initiatives will not only benefit students at both schools academically, but also enrich cultural understanding and friendship between young people of the two countries.

Design and Technology

Christopher Tyas is the fifth student in five years to be an exhibitioner at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authorities Seasons of Excellence Top Designs exhibition at the Museum of Melbourne. Each year teachers across the State are asked to submit work of students who are likely to gain an A or A+ for their coursework. A committee of experienced teachers selects and short-lists students for interview. This long and highly competitive process results in an almost professional quality exhibition of superb work in textiles, graphics, wood, metal and plastic. The exhibition runs from 4 March until 10 July and is opened by the Minister of Education. Christopher designed and made the beautiful poolside chair from stainless steel and Burmese teak for his parents’ Portsea property. Christopher learnt how to weld with the tungsten inert-gas process and became very proficient. His attention to detail and painstaking commitment to excellence have seen him gain this prestigious place. The College congratulates him on this recognition and success.

Head of Design and Technology

Updated: Monday 24 June 2013