Epsom College’s first overseas campus opens its doors

Malaysia’s reputation as a regional hub for education has received yet another boost with the opening of Epsom College, one of the United Kingdom’s leading independent schools, on our shores.

Epsom College in Malaysia (ECiM) provides the opportunity for local and expatriate children to be privy to a world-class British education without having to travel halfway around the world.

Located in Bandar Enstek, Negri Sembilan, ECiM is part of the KL Education City development in Nilai. This is the first overseas campus for the 159-year-old institution from Surrey, England.

The co-educational boarding school opened for the September 2014 intake with some 150 pupils aged between 3 and 18 years.

Currently, the pupils comprise 60 per cent Malaysian, 20 per cent expatriate children and 20 per cent foreign enrollees.

At present, the maximum number of students per class in the Senior School is around 24 for Years Seven to Eleven, and up to 12 for Years Twelve and Thirteen.

Pre-school and Nursery class sizes are set at a maximum of 16, while Pre-Prep and Prep School class sizes are a maximum of 22.

The school’s head of boarding Steve Capon said the children will not feel homesick as the family feel is recreated on the campus.

“They will be living with other children and cared for by parental figures,” he said.

Epsom College was the pioneer of weekly boarding, whereby the child spends the weekend at home, and this concept is expected to be popular in Malaysia.

There are separate boarding houses for boys and girls. The 14 boarding houses include four transition houses for Years Seven and Eight and 10 senior houses for Years Nine to Thirteen.

ECiM chairman of the board, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, is himself an Old Epsomian and the initiator of bringing his beloved alma mater to Malaysia.

During the institution’s recent official opening ceremony, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Tunku Ali Redhauddin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz of Negri Sembilan and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Also present were Tunku Zain Al’Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Second Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan P. Panchanathan and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell.

Speaking at the ceremony, Fernandes shared his long-time desire to recreate the holistic education experience and character-building journey during his Epsom days.

“Epsom College in Malaysia is a win for families across Asia, who now have access to a first-class British education right at their doorstep,” he said, adding that meeting enthusiastic children during his visits on campus left a deeper impression on him than even the state-of-the-art facilities.

The prestigious school is known to equip its students with the head start that is vital for making it into the world’s top universities.

Following the new English National Curriculum, including the Cambridge International Examination Board’s IGCSEs and A levels, ECiM aims to mirror the academic excellence of its UK campus whose students have consistently achieved at least an 84 per cent rate of A*, A or B grades for the A Level examinations.

ECiM headmaster Martin George said the students will be given all the necessary tools and resources to help them become tomorrow’s leaders.

“We will continue the tradition of nurturing our students on the importance of personal values, teamwork and living within a tightly-knit community,” he said.

The current teaching staff comprises UK-trained professionals with experience and qualifications necessary for delivering the UK curriculum for the relevant school phase.

Academic, music and sport scholarships are available to those who have shown the required ability and potential.

In addition, ECiM may also offer financial support in the form of bursaries to those with a proven need.

Details at www.epsomcollege.edu.my