In the age of big data and information, with jobs increasingly becoming at risk to automation and digitization, what skills should schools be nurturing and assessing in their pupils?

How do we create an education system which recognizes and values the skills required in a modern world?

How do we assist Generation Z in developing the soft skills required to be successful in a socially complex global environment?


Join the discussion with the Master of Wellington College – Mr. Julian Thomas, and listen to the views of an international panel of experienced school educators in our inaugural WELLINGTEN lecture series.

Date: Tuesday 19th April 2016

Time: 15:45 – 16:50

Location: Seldon Theatre. Wellington College International Tianjin

Open to: All welcome

Registration necessary* – please email events@wellington-tianjin.cn to register your attendance.

*Parents of children studying at Wellington College International Tianjin do not need to register in advance.


Following their launch in our partner school – Wellington College, a WELLINGTEN is a short 10-minute lecture that aims to communicate a message to a large audience with effective clarity and speed, leveraging intellectual aspiration and increasing excitement about the world of ideas and possibilities.

The brief for the speakers is simple: take one central intellectual idea and play around with it for 10 minutes.

The WELLINGTEN Talks are a formula to deliver inspiring ideas in a short time, engaging and enthusing audiences by highlighting areas for further intellectual development and exploration.

Order of Events

15:45 – 15:50, Welcome Remarks and Panel Introduction

15:50 – 16:00, WELLINGTEN Lecture – Madame Kang Xiu Yan, Director of Tianjin Nankai Xiangyu School Group and 6th Principal of Tianjin Nankai Middle School

16:00 – 16:10, WELLINGTEN Lecture – Mr. Julian Thomas, Master of Wellington College

16:10 – 16:20, WELLINGTEN Lecture – Dr. Kang Sungbong, Headmaster – Tianjin Korean International School

16:20 – 16:30, WELLINGTEN Lecture – Mr. Michael Higgins, Master of Wellington College International Tianjin

16:30 – 16:45, Panel Discussion – “Educating for the future – 21st century skills for 21st century learners”

In this section, the panelists will discuss any questions and comments submitted by the public. To submit a comment or to hear your question addressed by our experienced panelists, please contact the school using the messaging system at the base of the page.

16:45 – 16:50, Concluding Remarks

The event will be hosted by Mr. Julian Jeffrey – Second Master, Wellington College International Tianjin.

Panelist Profiles

Madame Kang Xiu Yan – Director of Tianjin Nankai Xiangyu School Group and 6th Principal of Tianjin Nankai Middle School


Madame Kang Xiu Yan is the sixth Principal of Tianjin Nankai Middle School and the Director of the Tianjin Nankai Xiangyu School Group. As the Group Director, Madame Kang is responsible for three schools – two secondary and one junior, in addition to being the Head of Tianjin Normal University Xiangyu Research Institute for Elementary Education and the Deputy Director of the Tianjin Xiangyu Educational Foundation.

A recognised teaching professional and joint-honors academic, Madame Kang is the Deputy Director of the Tianjin Institute of Scientific Education and the Deputy Director of the Professional Committee for Junior and Middle School Education in China.

Having played a key role in the development of over 60 educational publications including “Living for Excellence in Education” and “Quality in Middle School Education”, Madame Kang has a true breadth of educational experience and respective awards across a wide range of demographics in China, particularly Tianjin.

In 2003, following the launch of a nationwide Education Bureau initiative focused on domestic elementary education and educators in China, Madame Kang was selected as the 11th “Modern Educator”, representing Tianjin as the sole selection. In 2005, she joined the Tianjin Education Working Committee and Tianjin Education Bureau in hosting the event “Discussions on the Theories and Practices of Kang Xiu Yan”. Recognised by the Department of Elementary Education and Teacher Training, Madame Kang has received plaudits and support from the President of the China Institute of Education.

Mr. Julian Thomas – Master, Wellington College


Following an early career in ICT in the banking sector and a degree in Computer Science from King’s College, London, Julian taught at Forest School and St. Dunstan’s College, where he co-authored several maths text books. He went on to be Director of Studies at Portsmouth Grammar School and Second Master at Hampton School.  After completing an MBA in Educational Leadership (International), Julian was appointed Head at Caterham School in 2007. Under his leadership, Caterham developed into one of the UK’s leading co-educational schools.   Julian became Master at Wellington College in 2015.

Outside of the classroom, Julian was a junior county cricketer, won a rugby league half-blue while completing his PGCE at Cambridge and has developed a passion for outdoors trekking and climbing, culminating in an expedition to the South Pole in November 2014.

Dr. Kang Sungbong – Headmaster, Tianjin Korean International School


Dr. Kang Sungbong is a vastly experienced educator, having worked across a range of educational sectors in both Korea and China. A graduate of Changnam National University and Seoul National University, Sungbong is an expert in the field of Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering Education. His professional achievements are extensive, formerly having been the Director of the Korean Society of Vocational Education, Vice-President of the Korean Society of Career Education, Institute Director of the Seoul Education Research and Information Institution, General Manager – Career and Vocational Education at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, and School Inspector at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Having previously taught Middle and High School Technology in Korea, Dr. Kang Sungbong is now the Principal of the Tianjin Korean International School.

Mr. Michael Higgins – Master, Wellington College International Tianjin


Michael is an experienced school leader with headships in both UK and International schools.  Following eleven years as Headmaster successively of Moreton Hall Preparatory School and then St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, both prominent UK IAPS schools, Michael then served the British International School, Cairo for ten years until 2015, as Head of its large Junior School and as Vice-Principal.  Michael is an ISI schools inspector, and from 2010-2015 he also served as a Member of the Executive Committee of the British Schools of the Middle East (BSME), prior to his appointment as Master of Wellington College International Tianjin.


We want to hear from you. We want to discuss your views. To send questions or comments in to the panelists for discussion, please fill out the following information:

Fill out my online form.

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