Since the government’s increased efforts to encourage international education for Malaysians, the growth in the number of international schools in the country has been quite phenomenal. Some are better known for heritage whilst others are better known for passing rates and quality of education. More and more Malaysian parents are sending their children to international schools and the reason could be that they believe these schools will provide a better quality of education for their children in many ways. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia takes a look at its list of the top ten international schools in the country that are well established and are catering to the well-heeled, of course.
A group of international and private schools that first started in Ipoh, Perak in 1960, Tenby Schools are now found in five states, with another school set to open in 2018. Their vision, “A United World at Peace – Through Education” is dedicated to educating students from diverse nationalities in becoming global citizens. Tenby Schools currently offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), National Curriculum of England (IGCSE and A Level) and Malaysian National Curriculum to over 5,000 students. Additionally, CEO of Tenby Schools Malaysia, Mark Parkinson has extensive experience as an educator, in setting up schools and introducing innovative best practices in established schools.
Alice Smith School
Introduced in 1946, Alice Smith School offers a British education and is accredited as a British School Overseas by the Department for Education in London. It caters to pre-schoolers right up to Year 13 students and is first in Malaysia to be accepted by the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS). Offering GCSEs and A Levels to 1,600 students from nearly 50 nations, its heritage and web of global alumni are accredited to its membership in FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) and COBIS (Council of British International Schools), amongst others and its Head of School, Roger Schultz, has a teaching experience that spans over 30 years.
The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL)
Founded in 2009, BSKL provides education to children aged 2 to 18 years and prepares students for entry into top universities worldwide through IGCSE and A Level examinations. The first in Malaysia to be graded excellent in all areas of educational provision by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, 71% of students achieved A*/A grades and 92% achieved A*/B grades in their GCSE examinations in 2016. As part of the not-for-profit British Schools Foundation (BSF) which promotes premium British education, BSKL’s academic resources complement its modern campus. The first school within BSF was founded by current Chairman of BSF, Stewart Fry.
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)
ISKL is the first fully accredited international school in Malaysia and houses over 1,500 students from over 60 countries. Formed in 1965, the private and non-profit, parent-governed school is accredited internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ISKL is the first International Baccalaureate (IB) accredited school in Malaysia and practices innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Under the leadership of Head of School, Dr. Norma Hudson, ISKL hopes to achieve the Platinum Level Green Building Index (GBI) designation with its new Ampang Hilir Campus scheduled to open in August 2018.
Mont’Kiara International School (M’KIS)
M’KIS is a fully accredited North American Curriculum Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 international school, predominately catering to expatriate families since 1994. Boasting over 53 nationalities and authorized as an IB World School, M’KIS offers 41 IB Diploma Programmes of which all juniors and seniors are registered in at least one. Offering other programmes too, M’KIS allows students to take up an additional language from grade 1 and is licensed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula is expanding under Head of School, Trevor Laboski’s visionary leadership.
Marlborough College Malaysia
The first independent, British boarding and day school to open a campus in Malaysia on August 2012, Marlborough College Malaysia’s pupils aged 3 to 18 years are immersed into a community placing compassion, companionship and conversation at the heart of its educational philosophy and rich history spanning over 170 years. Maximising potential in academics and co-curricular activities to deliver a holistic education, its 90-acre campus allows for outdoor pursuits and places high value in the contribution of music, art, drama and service to others. Today, Marlborough College Malaysia continues to thrive under the leadership of Robert B Pick, Founding Master of Marlborough College Malaysia.
Nexus International School
Established in 2008, Nexus International School at Putrajaya caters to students from pre-school to Year 13. As part of the Taylor’s Education Group which is helmed by Group CEO, Dato’ Loy Teik Ngan, Nexus offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), IGCSE and International Baccalaureate Diploma programmes and is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). Nexus’ boarding facilities are dedicated to students aged 10 to 18 years with the supervision of an expatriate Director of Boarding. It also earned the Apple Distinguished School title in 2015 and 2017 and is recognised as a Mastering School by the IPC since 2013.
Prince of Wales Island International School (POWIIS)
The first in Penang to utilise multipurpose electronic ID cards, POWIIS was established in 2011 with ideals firmly rooted in the British education system. Emphasising academic endeavour and an environment where children are treated as individuals, its pastoral system ensures personal tutors are responsible for each student’s overall wellbeing. Its specialised facilities complement the diverse extra-curricular offerings and experienced teachers provide 24-hour supervision and support at its boarding facilities. POWIIS graduates have been known to attend prestigious universities like Imperial College London and Berklee College of Music. An alumnus of Kings College London herself, Elysia Ong is CEO of POWIIS.
Labuan International School (LIS)
The only private and international school in Labuan since 1996, LIS caters for children aged 5 to 17 years with National and International Curricula for Primary and Secondary levels. Its UK National curriculum prepares young ones for progression into the Secondary School which teaches Cambridge IGCSE. LIS’ facilities support its commitment to deliver a world-class education and fees are reasonable given the quality educational experience. LIS’ challenging academic programme, coupled with lively co-curricular and extracurricular activities provides holistic development and as part of Pristine Era Sdn Bhd, the school is helmed by Chairman of Pristine Era Sdn Bhd, Datuk Ahmad Hizzad Baharuddin.
Idrissi Islamic International School
Conceived in 2015 by founders who believe learning should contribute to the stewardship of the earth, it inculcates a shared responsibility between teachers, parents and students to develop wholesome children and make the school a success. Students participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at IDRISSI, which is accredited by Cambridge International Examinations and licensed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education. As the world’s first Eco-Islamic school, it received the Eco Primary Education Award in 2016. Moreover, IDRISSI’s co-founder and House Director, Datin Paduka Zaliza Alias was involved in producing the home-like environment as a backdrop for both an informal and formal curriculum.