On September 29th Maple Leaf Education North America, the Canadian subsidiary of China Maple Leaf Educational Systems proudly celebrated the official opening of its first Canadian high school, Maple Leaf School – TRU. The school is located in Kamloops, British Columbia on the campus of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and marks a unique collaboration between Maple Leaf and its longtime partner TRU.
“This is a very proud moment for Maple Leaf as we come full circle and open our first school in Canada, in Kamloops and with TRU, one of our very earliest university partners,” said Dawn Sutherland, President, Maple Leaf Education North America.
“This collaboration is an example of Maple Leaf’s and TRU’s visionary approach to global education. It will build relationships between the people of China and Canada,” said Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor.
The school will operate as a Group 4 BC Independent School leasing space and services from the university. MLS-TRU principal, Blake Defieux, and the teaching team have all previously worked at Maple Leaf schools in China and are well qualified to introduce the Maple Leaf model of education in Canada. The school program blends the best of Chinese and Canadian educational practice as students complete requirements towards both BC and Chinese high school diplomas.
Dr. Sherman Jen, Chairman and Founder of China Maple Leaf Educational Systems explains the importance of this educational model, “There are more than one million Chinese families in Canada and Maple Leaf’s blended program will provide them with opportunities to learn their native language and culture along with the BC program, and to develop their skills and abilities to enhance future collaboration between Canada and China in education, culture, business and many other areas.”
The students and their parents are attracted by TRU’s university village concept and thestrong commitment to internationalization evident on the campus. Students and teachers have been warmly welcomed on campus and in the Kamloops community.
“This unique partnership is strengthening the educational bonds between China and British Columbia. The value of international education goes well beyond the more than $300 million that international students contribute to British Columbia’s economy. The true value of this partnership lies in the cultural connections students make with one another and the exposure to new places, new friends and new ideas,” said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education.