If the scheme – which it is hoped will put Jersey on the map and bring money into the local economy – is successful, other Island schools could take on students from overseas in the future.
Two students from Shanghai joined JCG in September to begin GCSE courses. The scheme aims to attract up to ten pupils per year starting at Year 10 level. The maximum number of international students studying at the school across the GCSE and Sixth Form year groups at any one time would be 40 – each paying around £9,850 per term. Normal fees are £1,822 per term. They would board with local families, who would be paid out of the fees under the Homestay scheme.
The move is aimed at providing better international links and relationship opportunities for Jersey students, raising the Island’s profile internationally and bringing additional money into the local economy.
If the pilot is successful, other schools could take on students from overseas in the future. Local students will, JCG says, continue to have priority over any available places and no government money will be used to subsidise the education of international students, who cover the costs themselves.
Treasury Minister Susie Pinel recently signed a ministerial decision authorising the transfer of the funding to the JCG Foundation next year. It will mainly be used to pay for marketing of the scheme.
It is hoped the scheme will result in investment into facilities at the college and enhance opportunities for all students to target global universities.
Some of the income brought in will be invested in providing additional bursaries for local low-income families.
JCG principal Carl Howarth said the school would be targeting countries that the States were also engaging with, such as China, Hong Kong, south-east Asia and those in Europe, particularly Germany, Spain, France and Portugal.
‘There is a growing market for students from these countries to receive an international education,’ he said.
‘The reason we feel this is an exciting opportunity is we are building on the beauty, safety and environment of Jersey. If you are a parent in different parts of the world what you want is for your child to be in a very politically and economically stable place, which is pollution free, which is a big thing, and which is safe. Jersey provides all of that as well as being a very beautiful environment.’
He added that he hoped that other schools would be able to use the model to attract their own international students in the future, particularly boys as JCG only caters for girls.
‘This marks the beginning of a new strand for JCG and I look forward to watching it grow and enhance the college and the Island,’ he said.
Education Minister Tracey Vallois said: ‘This investment links into the wider longer-term objectives from the Skills Strategy of increasing the opportunities within Higher Education to study off-island but to also increase the internationalisation of the on-island experience. This would be through the links which will be made through school connections, student relationships and parental visits and interactions. In addition, it will support the work of external relations where education is one of the target issues for country interactions.’
Last year, Mr Howarth visited Hong Kong and Shanghai to explore the idea and a member of staff is currently on a similar visit. The school has also had interest from Nigeria, and a number of agents who match students with international courses have made visits.
What is on offer?
According to the school’s website, there are a number of programmes available.
GCSE: A two-year programme leading to the award of internationally recognised GCSEs. Students will join the programme in Year 10 (grade 9) and choose a maximum of 11 GCSEs.
A-level: A two-year programme leading to the award of internationally recognised A-levels. Students will join the programme in Year 12 (grade 11) and choose a maximum of three A levels and two electives.
Immersion Programmes: Students spend a term immersed in life at an English girls’ day school and get a taster of what full-time study at JCG would be like. It costs £775 per week for a minimum of four weeks.