Marlborough Boys' College finds potential Chinese sister-school
A Marlborough school is a step closer to setting up a sister-school relationship in China, with the principal travelling to the province of Ningxia as part of a mayoral delegation.
Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Hegarty spent a week in China along with Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman, representatives from the Marlborough District Council and the region's wine industry.
They visited a potential sister-school for the college, Yinchuan No. 9 High School, located in the capital city of Ningxia, Yinchaun.
"We want to develop a more formal sister-school relationship with them, just as the council is looking at a sister-city relationship," Hegarty said.
The visit comes after a delegation from Ningxia visited Marlborough earlier this year, and a memorandum of understanding between the two provinces was signed.
Marlborough Boys' and Marlborough Girls' College were both given a $2500 grant by the China Sister Schools Fund last year to look into sister-school opportunities.
The trip was "fascinating", Hegarty said.
The school had appointed a Chinese agent in Yinchaun to seek out potential students.
"They will organise and meet the families and be the go-between."
While he was in China, Hegarty also met a family keen to send their son to Marlborough, he said.
The school did not have any fee-paying Chinese students enrolled as international students currently.
However there was a small group of Chinese students coming to both colleges later this year in their summer holidays, Hegarty said.
Hegarty said the school aimed to have a maximum of four or five students from China at a time.
Students were more likely to make Kiwi friends and learn English if they were not in a large group of students from their home country.
The whole delegation visited the school as well as going on two university visits, Hegarty said.
The delegation had visited a "variety of wine-related industry places", Hegarty said.
Marlborough District Council strategic planning and economic development officer Neil Henry said there were possibilities for winemakers in Marlborough and Ningxia to advise one another and to share expertise.
The fact they had harvests at opposite times of year made it particularly handy for Marlborough winemakers, who would be able to travel there, Henry said.
Already five Marlborough winemakers were participating in Ningxia's international wine competition.
Ningxia was the fifth largest winemaking province in the world.
The trip had been "very positive" and the council would be speaking to the wine industry about opportunities available to them, Henry said.
- The Marlborough Express