Malvern College Tokyo Receives Warm Welcome at the British Embassy Tokyo

The Malvern College name is already recognized for excellence in international education in many countries. And thanks to a recent event, Malvern College Tokyo (MCT) has significantly raised its profile in Japan.

On February 2, 2023, MCT held a gala event in the Ambassador’s Residence at the British Embassy Tokyo to recognize the upcoming launch of the new school. The event included a speech by British Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom CMG, and was attended by more than 150 guests drawn from the international education community, media and business leaders.

First, a media briefing and one-on-one Q&A sessions were held with these members of the Malvern College team:

  • Keith Metcalfe, headmaster of Malvern College UK
  • Alan Walker, director of Malvern College international schools
  • Mike Spencer, founding headmaster of MCT
  • Robin Lister, headmaster of Malvern College Hong Kong and regional executive advisor for Malvern College International in Asia-Pacific
  • Jacqueline So, co-founder and chief executive of Malvern College International in Asia-Pacific

The guests then began to arrive and mingle, while enjoying a selection of beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Attendees also had the opportunity to answer questions about education by way of QR codes. The answers were displayed on a screen at the front of the main room. The atmosphere at the event was one of curiosity and excitement, with guests looking forward to learning more about MCT.

Uniting Two Worlds

The first speaker was Mike Spencer, who explained how impressed he was with Japan and how excited he was about his first posting in the country: “I’ve been genuinely moved by the generosity of spirit that I’ve encountered here in Tokyo. I arrived here last August, and I’ve had the opportunity to see how beautiful some areas of the country are. I intend to see more. And I’ve been very gratified by so many small acts of kindness, and just how gracious people here are. This project has been really helped by that generosity of spirit and openness.

“I’m also very lucky and privileged to be working with a great team of people here in Tokyo and beyond. They are working tirelessly to ensure that Malvern College Tokyo opens for its first pupils in September.” Spencer remarked on how rapidly progress was being made on the campus, whose main building was designed by the celebrated architect Kisho Kurokawa.

Ambassador Longbottom then commented on how MCT would be able to unite some of the best elements of the UK and Japan: “It’s a wonderful pleasure to celebrate the establishment of Malvern College Tokyo, a school built on the outstanding reputation of the longstanding UK institution. Recent reforms in the Japanese education system place emphasis on developing skills in entrepreneurship, innovation, financial literacy and pastoral care. And the opening of institutions like Malvern can draw on the strength of the two education systems and two cultures, to build a community and an ethos that will make a powerful investment in our young people. 

“Malvern will provide excellent opportunities for children to learn new skills to communicate confidently in English to navigate the cultural differences and enhance their global understanding, ultimately to acquire an education that will allow them to access the world’s leading universities and leading employers. Furthermore, it will help raise Tokyo’s profile both globally and within Asia as a positive choice for international expat families.”

Following a Tradition of Excellence

Metcalfe then discussed Malvern College’s esteemed history, which dates to 1865. He pointed out that, over the years, its alumni, known as Old Malvernians, has included Nobel laureates, scientists, industry leaders and TV personalities. “But the really important part is that the people who’ve left the college over the many, many years have gone out and done something positive, whether that’s in the UK, or whether that’s globally.”

He explained that 10 Malvern College campuses around the world are currently teaching nearly 5,000 students and preparing them to move on to their futures with a truly global mindset, backed by Malvern’s philosophy and the International Baccalaureate. “It’s our long-established commitment to developing the international mindset that fits with the International Baccalaureate, the IB program, but also that range of diverse backgrounds from which many of our pupils come. And the fact that the world is so globalized, we are preparing our young people to make a difference on the global stage as global citizens.”

The final speaker was So, who began her remarks with an extended greeting in Japanese, to much applause, during which she thanked the audience for their interest in MCT and for making time for the event in their busy schedules. She was confident that the newest Malvern campus was in the perfect place. “The vibrant city of Tokyo is an ideal location from which to extend the Malvern brand and promote cross-cultural understanding throughout Asia and beyond. Our extensive research identified significant demand for quality international education programs here, and we believe our IB-focused curriculum—adapted to reflect the language and cultures of the local community—will best meet that need. Malvern College Tokyo will also place a particular focus on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, sustainability, and promotion of social-emotional well-being.”

So added that Malvern’s sterling reputation around the world has led to MCT receiving more than 1,000 applications for teaching positions at the school, and she was enthusiastic about what it means for its future: “I have no doubt that we’ll build an outstanding team here and we will continue our tradition of excellence.”


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