UK's King's College comes to capital
Thailand campus to be third in Asia
King's College School Wimbledon, one of the top-ranked schools in the UK, is to open a campus in Thailand, its third in Asia, aiming to bring world-class education to Thai students.
The development of the Bangkok campus, operated under the name "King's College International School Bangkok or King's Bangkok", follows two campuses established in China.
"Thai parents want the best for their kids and want to open as many doors for them as possible," said Thomas Banyard, principal of the King's Bangkok.
"Our school will give students the best opportunity to get into universities in Thailand, but a lot of parents are thinking internationally and want their children to go to the best universities in the world."
Around 25% of all sixth form students go on to attend Oxford or Cambridge each year.
According to Mr Banyard, over 90% of the students at King's College Wimbledon were also accepted into universities of their first choice in the UK and the US, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.
The school curriculum is delivered in English and offers Thai and Mandarin as additional languages.
Mr Banyard said King's College curriculum will strongly emphasise "co-curriculars" like drama, sports and art in an effort to develop "well-rounded students", as well as a focus on "pastoral care", where the school promises to stay on top of each student's mental and physical well-being.
Being built on 23 rai of land in Ratchada-Rama 3 area, with 41,000 square metres of usable space, the school is a joint venture of King's College and Excellence Education Thailand (XET).
"Seeing the positive development of my own son from a British education, I wanted to make a school here that was one of the best and not too business-focused," said Sakorn Suksriwong, president of XET and co-founder of King's Bangkok.
"There's been a shortage of supply in Bangkok of premium international schools."
Prof Sakorn said that the school has in the past two years invested at least 1 billion baht for construction, teaching equipment and human resources.
"The school will open for applications from June 30 this year and will be ready to open for classes in September 2020," Prof Sakorn added.
At capacity, the school will cater for 1,500 students from pre-school to Year 13 aged 2-18 years old.
Still, in the first, Prof Sakorn said King's Bangkok will offer classes from pre-nursery to Year 6 for students aged two to 11 years old with 150 to 200 students expected to be enrolled.
In the second year, the school will expand to Years 7-9. The school aims to offer education from pre-nursery to Year 13 in the next seven years, said Prof Sakorn.
"Once all the grades are opened, we expect to have approximately 1,500 students," he added.
Prof Sakorn expects 70-80% of students to be Thais and the remaining 20 to 30% to be foreigners.