“Scholarships make me feel honoured; my efforts are recognised, and the school recognises the effort of all hardworking pupils.”
– Cynthia, a pupil at Wellington College Tianjin
School scholarships have always been a great incentive and source of support for outstanding pupils. After speaking to a few of Wellington College China’s own scholarship recipients, we were reminded that a scholarship can impact so much more than a pupil’s financial situation; they can instil them with a new sense of confidence and pride.
This emboldened sense of self opens our pupils up to a new world of possibilities and encourages them to explore and expand their talents throughout the course of their studies. This is epitomised in the stories of three outstanding pupils at one of Wellington College China’s schools below:
By the second day of the school term at Wellington College Tianjin, most newcomers are beginning to settle into life at their new school.
A young lady approached the school gate and spoke to the guard – she had made the decision to attend another high school but changed her mind at the last minute. As she waited outside for a teacher to come and collect her, she took a moment to admire her surroundings. The young lady began to look forward to life at this place that she would one day call her alma mater.
That young lady was Cynthia. Two years ago, she changed her mind at the last minute and decided to enrol at Wellington College Tianjin. What motivated Cynthia to change her mind?
Cynthia’s involvement with Wellington College Tianjin began when she read about Wellington College Tianjin’s scholarship programme on social media a few days before her graduation from junior high. The social media post detailed the school’s academic scholarships for outstanding junior high graduates; successful applicants could receive a tuition reduction of up to 100% and potentially save more than one million yuan over three years of schooling.
“My first reaction was that this was fake news – how could it be true?” she laughed. Believing that there was no harm in trying, Cynthia signed up to attend the interview and exam for Wellington College Tianjin’s academic scholarship programme. “When I first visited the campus, I thought that the school had a very diverse and inclusive culture. I visited many schools leading up to my graduation from junior high, and Wellington College Tianjin certainly stood out from the rest.”
Cynthia had been an outstanding pupil throughout her childhood, and as such, she received a tuition reduction of 75%.
She had previously studied in a public school, so Cynthia was worried that she might find it difficult to adapt to the international and diverse learning environment at Wellington College Tianjin. Because of these reservations, she hesitated to enrol and decided to continue her education in the international department of an elite public school instead.
During the summer holiday following her graduation from junior high, Cynthia took part in the Harvard Summit for Young Leaders in China. At the summit, Cynthia met many teachers and students from Harvard University, and several high school pupils who, like her, were eager to get to know one another and learn from each other’s experiences. “My vision was broadened in an instant,” she recalled.
The diverse and progressive atmosphere that the Harvard summit reminded Cynthia of how she felt when she visited Wellington College Tianjin. She felt that the school’s scholarship programme was representative of how much the school valued the talents and efforts of its pupils. “Scholarships make me feel honoured; my efforts are recognised, and the school recognises the effort of all hardworking pupils.”
After attending the summit, Cynthia felt confident in her decision to enrol at Wellington College Tianjin. “I needed a diverse platform for me to have enough room to develop and pursue my dreams, so here I am.”
Currently in Grade 12, Cynthia is now one of the school’s ‘star’ pupils: she achieved an outstanding score in the Graduate Record Examinations and is a frequent participant in co-curricular activities – particularly debate competitions and drama performances.
When Cynthia first attended the school’s acclaimed Design Technology class, she was reluctant to take part. “I had never learned crafting, I was never good at crafting and I thought I didn’t have a very good artistic sense,” she said. Fortunately, with her teacher’s kind support and encouragement, Cynthia felt inspired and ultimately performed very well in this class.
“I was impressed. I used to hate my Design Technology class, but it has now become my favourite. This is just another example of Wellington College Tianjin’s charm.”
August, a Grade 12 pupil at Wellington College Tianjin, used to attend an elite public school in Tianjin. He was one of the school’s best pupils, but he ended up changing course after his participation in a national English public speaking competition inspired him to enrol elsewhere.
In the final round of the competition, August (who was in Grade 9 at the time) was approached by a teacher who had noticed his great English skills and learning capabilities. The teacher recommended that August continue his studies at Wellington College Tianjin. “At that time, I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to study abroad or not,” said August.
Following the teacher’s recommendation, August visited and observed a few classes at Wellington College Tianjin. “The school had a wide range of class structures in place and gave off a very international atmosphere. I was impressed by the school’s diverse and progressive environment and left feeling very good about it.”
In the months that followed, August attended the interview and written exam for the school’s scholarship programme and was awarded with a full scholarship. August’s former school offered its top high school pupils guaranteed places in their international programmes classes, but ultimately, August decided that he wanted to study at Wellington College Tianjin instead. “If I am to study abroad, I might as well prepare myself by studying in an international environment. I was also impressed by the school’s scholarship programme, so there was very little hesitation for me when I decided to enrol at Wellington College Tianjin.”
Since August enrolled at Wellington College Tianjin nearly two years ago, he has made consistent and impressive strides in his education.
Last year, August was shortlisted as one of two candidates who were nominated for the Yale Young Global Scholars programme in Tianjin, and he won two medals at the United States Academic Decathlon – gold in economics and bronze in writing. August has participated in many school events and competitions throughout his time at Wellington College Tianjin, including a business simulation, Sustainable Development Goals competition, British Mathematical Olympiad and debate competition.
“I could never imagine that I would get to take part in any of these opportunities before. At Wellington College Tianjin I can explore my strengths and interests and focus on the subjects I like.”
In addition to his academic achievements, August has noticed changes in his own personality during his time at Wellington College Tianjin. “In such diverse and inclusive environment, teachers often encourage pupils to explore and express themselves more. I feel that I am now more outgoing and confident than I was before.”
Ted and August studied at the same public school before entering Wellington College Tianjin, and just like August, Ted was awarded a full scholarship.
When Ted was in Grade 7 he joined his father on a work trip to the United Kingdom, where he ended up enrolling in a local school for an entire term. He was enchanted by the British learning environment and education system, and was very happy when he received a great offer to continue his education with a private school. Ted planned to accept this offer and continue his studies abroad as soon as he advanced to high school.
So, how did Ted get involved with Wellington College Tianjin?
“When I was at my public school, a senior enrolled in an A-level programme with Wellington College Tianjin. Our mothers knew each other, and it was through this connection that we learned about the scholarship programmes at Wellington College Tianjin.”
Ted visited Wellington College Tianjin’s campus and found himself immediately impressed by the school; its architectural style, curriculum configuration and diverse range of students reflected an authentic British atmosphere.
“I learned about the GCSE and A-level programmes at Wellington College Tianjin and saw that they were very comprehensive with all of my interest subjects available. I then learned that the school’s university admissions results were quite positive. So, with added motivation and support from the school’s scholarship programme, I decided to study there.”
During his time at Wellington College Tianjin, Ted has undergone some drastic personal changes.
In Wellington College Tianjin’s immersive environment, Ted improved his English skills tenfold; he initially found it difficult to attend classes in English, but recently scored an 8 (out of a possible 9) in the International English Language Testing System exam. Last year, he won a silver medal in the United States Academic Decathlon Mathematics competition. Ted used to be clueless about his future aspirations, but he has now set an ambitious goal for himself: he wants to study mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
Ted enjoys exploring his other interests and hobbies at Wellington College Tianjin, where he has learned to box, goes swimming and trains at the gym. Lately, he and some of his classmates started a folk band for some after-school fun.
“I feel a great sense of freedom studying at Wellington College Tianjin. If I am interested in a particular subject, I can study it and take the exam in advance and use the remaining time to explore other subject areas or hobbies. Rather than abiding by the standard teaching plans only, we have the option to make extra, individual plans and arrangements with a teacher – if we so wish.”
Ted has a particular interest in mathematics. At Wellington College Tianjin, Ted has received ongoing support and encouragement from his teachers in this subject and has joined (and won!) many international competitions. “My teacher offered me many resources and one-on-one tutorials to help me understand what advanced mathematics is like,” said Ted. “This isn’t unusual – if other pupils have an interest in a particular subject area, many of our teachers will offer their time and resources to help them develop this interest.”
Note: Wellington College Tianjin was the first school Wellington College China established in the country. It was an international school when it was founded in 2011. In 2014, Wellington College Tianjin established an A Level Centre to provide an authentic three-year British A-level programme for pupils with Chinese nationalities. Cynthia, August and Ted are all pupils at Wellington College Bilingual Tianjin A Level Centre.
For more information about Wellington College Bilingual Tianjin A Level Centre,
please scan the QR code below:
Scholarship programmes at Wellington College China
Wellington College China places a lot of value on its well-implemented scholarship programmes and has sought to improve and introduce new elements to these programmes over the last few years. In addition to the academic scholarships Cynthia, August and Ted received, schools under Wellington College China also offer scholarships to pupils with outstanding arts and sports performance.
In December 2019, on the 80th anniversary of the Shuping Scholarship, Wellington College China launched its own Shuping Scholarship programme in collaboration with Shuping Scholarship and the Shanghai Education Development Foundation.
As the highest level of scholarship programme at Wellington College China, the Shuping Scholarship is different than the organisation’s other scholarships in that it was specifically established for outstanding pupils who come from working-class families in China. The scholarship provides full coverage of the awardees’ tuition fees and covers expenses for meals, uniforms and boarding fees. The Shuping Scholarship is, essentially, a ‘110% scholarship’.
The Shuping Scholarship was launched at Wellington College Bilingual Tianjin A Level Centre and Huili School Hangzhou in 2020. As Huili School Shanghai continues to grow, it is expected that this school will also release the Shuping Scholarship in the upcoming 2020/2021 academic year.
The eligibility criteria and application process for each scholarship is subject to each school’s policy arrangements. For more details, please scan the QR codes below