Springfield’s Union Institute of Language School, Springfield Central State High School and Japan’s Clark Memorial High School have come together to sign a memorandum of understanding for their new pathways program.
Clark Memorial High School delegates flew in from Japan overnight to attend the signing last Friday and UIL Chairman Hugh Ritchie said the program was an exciting step in the Springfield education story.
“UIL have had a very close, 15-year relationship with Clark Memorial High School where we act as their Australian Campus,” Mr Ritchie said.
“Currently they send over 650 students per year to UIL for between one month and two years and to date over 5000 Clark students have spent time in Springfield from this organisation.
“It is hoped that this new initiative will grow the number of international students that come to the Springfield region from this dedicated Japanese partner.”
The schools have developed a new product for the Clark Organisation that will be a great example of a Public/Private/International education collaboration.
The Clark students will start at UIL, before studying for a minimum of a term in either Year 10 or 11 depending on their English ability.
Springfield Central State High School principal Leon Proud said it was a good opportunity to expand upon the school’s current international studies offering.
“For us we benefit greatly from this as we are building our international program and this is a crucial component of that,” Mr Proud said.
“We hold the same values as UIL as we want the best for our region, it’s part of Maha Sinnathamby’s vision for Greater Springfield and that’s why we love this.
“We really look forward to the years ahead and know that the Clark students will do great at this school and hopefully they will want to stay for a long time.”
Former Clark Memorial High School student Sae Fujimaru studied at UIL more than a decade ago and said she enjoyed the experience so much she decided to return in 2014.
“I first came here in 2008 where I studied for approximately one year and four months,” Ms Fujimaru said.
“I came here to study English and I really liked the people in Australia, so I decided to come back to study at the Queensland College of Arts and now I work at UIL in Student Services.
“I think Springfield is a good place to study because it’s safe and we know the host families well, so it’s a nice experience for our students.”
Springfield City Group Managing Director Raynuha Sinnathamby was also in attendance and said the new program was in line with the overall vision of Springfield as a learning city.
“At Greater Springfield we have a huge passion for education,” Ms Sinnathamby said.
“Earlier this year we formed a Learning Coalition and it’s really important that as a learning community we better ourselves, better the experience for the students and establish some of those tentacles that reach out beyond Greater Springfield and into the world.
“Your students really touch the hearts of our community- they’ve stayed with our families, we see them walking to college and I know the lagoon is a very popular place for them.
“They are really living the Australian dream and we hope that they are enjoying themselves in Greater Springfield.”
State MP for Jordan Charis Mullen also thanked the schools for coming up with the initiative and said it was hugely positive for the area.
“Partnerships like this are important and we recognise that in the Queensland Government for international education,” Ms Mullen said.
“We take international education very seriously in Queensland because not only does it generate $4.7 billion of export revenue into our economy but it has also created 19,000 jobs.
“Greater Springfield has the wonderful ambition to be a learning city and we know international education is a very important part of that, so for me it is lovely to see something like this.”
The pathway program will kick start in September this year.