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BE: How many Chinese students do Eton enroll each year? Does the number indicate any future trend?
Mr. William Rees (William): It changes from year to year. The number has increased over the last 15-20 years, particularly since we opened and widened the entry assessment, which we did in 2001. So the number of international students coming to Eton has increased, not just from China but also from other countries, from Africa, America and Russia and other kinds of places.
Eton doesn't have a particular number each year from China or any other country, because every boy is assessed as an individual. It doesn't matter where he comes from. So the number may change quite a lot from year to year. We don't care where they come. We just want to respond to them and assess them as individuals.
BE: Could you give us a brief introduction of the key points of the gentleman cultivation in a British independent school?
William: We are being a gentleman. It is very much part of the education. Students are expected to treat each other with respect, with good manners, and that's a very important part of life. It's an expectation, it's part of the country, and students treat each other well. And if at any time students don't treat each other well, then action is taken, not by so much punishment, as education is instill in them the best values the most positive values in the way that they treat each other.
BE: What factors should Chinese family consider when they choose English independent schools?
William: Well, the first thing is to make the right judgment, the right decision on what is the right age for the child to go to the UK because there are several points of entry, and different ages and different points of entry suit different children and different families.
Also the type of school and the academic level of the school, and the other emphasis of that school. Some schools may emphasize music very strongly, and other schools may emphasize sports very strongly. A school such as Eton College will emphasize everything very strongly. The academic level is very important.
And it is essential for Chinese parents to consider the well-being of the child by not pushing the child too hard academically. So it's essential that we have a child in a right school for that child's level of abilities. And BE can give very good advice to families on that after they've assessed the child.
I've seen this many times in my career. The first consideration must be that the child is comfortable and happy, and then that child will work with good motivation, and be happy and positive, and not resent the situation where the child is in. And that makes a good relationship between the child and the parents.
The above content is just part of the whole interview. In the next part to be released Mr. Rees had talked about Chinese students' advantages and disadvantages in applying to UK schools. Please make sure to check out our website.