A new school opening in Massachusetts later this year will be the first boarding school for Chinese students in the United States. The Massachusetts International Academy in Marlborough is designed to prepare Chinese students for college in the United States.
The school is housed in a facility that was purchased earlier this year by a subsidiary of the Chinese company Cernet, a non-profit nationwide education and research computer network. Our picture shows Jianping Wu, CEO of Cernet and professor of computer science and technology at Tsinghau University, receiving a commemorative plaque from UMass President Jack Wilson at the opening of Cernet’s education base in Marlborough.
Cernet officials had been to Massachusetts several times because of the company’s partnership with the University of Massachusetts for online courses in China.
The China Institute Executive Director Allan Guo, along with Cernet’s Daniel Xu, gave a tour of the 240,000-square-foot facility. Guo says as soon as Cernet board members saw the vacant, former training facility, which needed little renovation, they agreed to pay the asking price of more than $9 million.
The speed of the purchase shows how eager Cernet was to meet the growing demand for education in China, even if it means moving operations overseas. Guo said China has 28 million 18-year-olds, all competing to go to college, and Xu said Chinese students will do whatever it takes to get into a top school.
9.09WBur, a Boston news station, reported there will be a first class of about 80 students.
The Chinese boarding school reverses the model of foreign students studying at U.S.-based and run high schools. Allan Guo said Massachusetts should consider its higher education reputation a potential export that could attract similar schools.