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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Becoming, Oct 22, 2019.
Oh, my, I’m so dense. Got it now. It’s totally misnamed.
Naming of schools, or any institution, is an interesting glimpse into the mind's of the owner/founder. I often think that if you name your school after a highly respected, or very old, institution yet you have absolutely no link to that institution you are sending a message that will only appeal to those sufficiently gullible / naive enough to fall for it. The new schools which name themselves after the old famous institutions with a slight variation, or addition, to the name are only marginally more hilarious. There's a university in Bangkok which has the same name as another famous Bay Area university, except they've changed the letter N to M in the new variant, so now it's seemingly named after a rather pleasant Lincolnshire market town (maybe it was originally named after the market town, maybe the famous Bay Area University was originally trying to ape the local comp in the Lincolnshire market town. All possibilities are possible).
The rent-a-name schools in Asia are in a slightly different situation, they generally do have some connection (to a greater or lesser degree) with the "real one" in Merry Olde Englande (or Scotland). Yet again, I wonder why people are so easily led to buy into a somewhat weak simulacra of the original. Many of these schools are very good at what they do, but what they do is not what the original school in Merry Olde is doing. The stated values may be the same (or similar) but the reality is often very different. I have to laugh when I see the oft pampered children being dropped off in their plush chauffeured 4x4s at their rent-a-name school, and compare that with the promotion of rough & ready self reliance found in many British Public Schools. Not sure how the kids at the local rent-a-name would deal with a 5 day trek over Brecon Beacons in January, most of them seem to have difficulty navigating public transport in this modern Asian tropical city !
These rent-a-name schools flourish in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok & Singapore where there are also many better Int Schs which stand on their own name, and do not pretend to be linked to an older different type of school in the UK. I wonder whether the more recently opened versions of the rent-a-names are just the products of successful marketing, or whether they are underpinned by better quality education than that which is already provided by the established, successful non-straw boater providers ?
I always wondered about the 'Lincolnshire' one you mentioned as there is a place with that name in New York. I just couldn't bring myself to believe they'd actually just changed the 'n' to an 'm'. Surely not. Surely!!
That’s just the way of life for Asian kids. The only reason they are able to attend these rent-a-name schools is because their parents are either rich or very rich. In all honesty without these type of aristocrats and their love for rent-a-name schools there would be much, much less international schools for us to work in. I went to one as a kid, then went on to live in a boarding school in the UK, and now I’m teaching in one of the rent-a-name schools.
Yes. Sad, but true. Most of these rent-a-name schools are run by businessmen, most of which also run other businesses alongside the school. Why would they worry about being better in quality than the other established, non-straw boater providers when they know that most Asian parents are attracted to the facilities and name rather than the quality of education. After all it is already much better than local schools.
The rent a name schools with the prefix of UK private schools are basically franchises, and like all franchises they are supposed to follow the rules laid down by the franchiser.
However as we know from the fast food franchises, franchisees are at liberty to follow local tastes to a certain extent (i.e. the Mac tandoori) If they don't the franchiser is at liberty to end the relationship.
With rent a name schools the extent to which the UK school regulates the franchisee varies considerably. Those with more to lose; i.e. their brand, will keep a closer eye on the franchisee than the less well known ones. As far as I know only one UK school has removed its name from the school because the property developer owner wanted to do things his own way.