The groundbreaking ceremony of the RM60 million campus of Excelsior International School was officiated by Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia at the campus site on 19 March 2012.
The built-up area of over 250,000 sq ft is spread over 20 acres of land which excludes staff residences and students’ hostels. The School will offer international curricula for children from kindergarten to high school with age ranging from three years to eighteen years of age.
The campus will be located within Bandar Seri Alam, Iskandar Malaysia, the flagship township of UM Land Bhd, an established property development company listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia. Excelsior will be managed and operated by a unit of Raffles Campus Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based premier education provider.
In order to provide a conducive and holistic learning environment, the school will feature advanced educational facilities. These include modern IT, Science and Multimedia laboratories and a range of sporting and recreational amenities such as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, full-sized soccer field and running tracks, art and craft laboratories, drama and dance studios and fully equipped auditorium to support Excelsior’s three Pillars of Excellence in Education – Academic, Sports and the Arts. All classrooms will be fully air-conditioned.
Ng Boon Yew, Chairman and CEO of Raffles Campus, said, “Excelsior International School aims to redefine educational standards with its holistic approach towards grooming youngsters to be global citizens. Education must reflect the aspirations and needs of the society. We are creating models that will help in shaping individuals who will be equipped to handle the many and varied challenges that they will face in the workplace and the society at large.
“The School’s main objective is to provide both the local and expatriate community with high standard educational experience and to be a catalytic element in the overall economic development of Malaysia, in particular, in Iskandar Malaysia.”
The school’s curricula will include the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Advanced Level for students in the high school; the International General Certificate in Secondary Education for students in the secondary school; and the Cambridge International Primary Program for children in the primary school. To bring Singapore’s education nearer to the community in Malaysia, the curricula will also be infused with the Singapore Ministry of Education’s curriculum.
Ng added that “the School will take into consideration local requirements and, although the medium of instruction will be in English, all students will be encouraged to learn their mother-tongue as either the first or second language. We plan to offer Bahasa and Mandarin in the school starting from the kindergarten level. A third language is optional and will be available to students.”
In his official speech, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin expressed that as the member of parliament of the area, he is indeed very proud with the strategic development of Bandar Seri Alam which has now become an education cluster that offers comprehensive education from pre-school to the tertiary level.
“I believe, with the quality education provided by the existing schools, colleges and universities, the establishment of Excelsior International School will equip and enhance the name of Bandar Seri Alam as a dynamic “City of Knowledge” township.
“Such action also will boost the country’s reputation as one that possesses quality education on par with developed countries and becoming Asia’s leading education hub.”
Lim Eng Kuan, Chief Operating Officer of UM Land said, “We are proud to have the presence of Excelsior International School within our Bandar Seri Alam township or best known as the City of Knowledge. As we embark on the construction of the Excelsior International School development, we also welcome more opportunities to work with global partners and the local community to achieve our vision of transforming Bandar Seri Alam into a complete living experience township of Iskandar Malaysia.”
The evolution of the “City of Knowledge” began when notable educational institutions and schools started establishing their presence in Bandar Seri Alam. Some of these institutions have already commenced operations while the others will be fully operational by 2013. These include three secondary schools, three primary schools which include Nam Heng Chinese Primary School, Masterskill University College of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, MARA Junior Science College (the first institution built in Seri Alam), HELP University Johor Campus, University Kuala Lumpur, The Malaysia Art School and a Japanese School (which has been operational since 2001). The establishment of Excelsior International School will complement these existing education institutions.
UM Land has been involved as the master creator of Iskandar Malaysia through its first flagship township which is Bandar Seri Alam. To date, the developer has marked its presence across four of the five Iskandar flagship zones with landbank of over 5,000 acres and a total of RM5 billion of GDV waiting to be realized.
“We see a lot of growth potential in Iskandar Malaysia, there are still plenty of land in Johor and it’s all about developing with a bigger picture in mind. There is a need to look at the large plan of Iskandar Malaysia and develop in line with what has been planned for the region. What we have witnessed today is certainly a milestone towards achieving that master plan,” Lim added.
The campus will be the flagship school for the Raffles Campus network in Malaysia. It will admit its first cohort of students in the third quarter of 2013 with admission assessments and enrolments commencing in early 2013. In the first academic year, Nursery to Grade 8 will be open for admissions. The subsequent grades will become available from September 2014.
The School is in the process of appointing the teaching staff, who will hail from all over the world. This will provide our students with an international outlook and experience and be able to immerse in a truly international learning environment. We are intending to limit the founding intake to not more than 400 students with class sizes of no more than 25 students for Grades 1 to 8; and of no more than 20 students for the pre-school. To ensure that our students can have a holistic learning experience, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of extra and co-curricular activities including clubs, sports, community events and study aid programs.