On June 21st, at an opening ceremony in the Library of the Mawson Lakes campus home of MLIS-UNniSA, His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le, Governor of South Australia announced the official opening of the Maple Leaf International School – University of South Australia. Mr. Van Le and Dr. Sherman Jen, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Maple Leaf Educational Systems, unveiled a plaque marking this important occasion in the globalization of international education and learning.
Master of Ceremony Principal Steve Bousfield presided over the packed event which began with the raising of the flag of China. Dr. Sherman Jen addressed the crowd first, expressing his gratitude to the local government, the Ministry of Education, and the management team of the University of South Australia for their support of the school. Maple Leaf’s overseas university-affiliated school model has a unique model of shared facilities, shared resources and providing convenience for university admissions. Dr. Jen intends for Maple Leaf to work with the government and UniSA to build this unique model into a high-quality international high school.
Professor Joanne Cys spoke on behalf of the University, emphasizing that in addition to working with Maple Leaf to establish a bilingual international high school, the University of South Australia is also cooperating with Maple Leaf in other areas. The Maple Leaf Science and Math teachers program provides an exceptional opportunity for Maple Leaf graduates to complete their degree in Education as well as Maths/Science. All Graduates of this program will be provided with the chance to be employed at Maple Leaf in the future. This is another example of the win/win relationship between Maple Leaf and UniSA.
The Honourable Jing Lee, Assistant Minister to the Premier of South Australia and Member of the House of Lords spoke enthusiastically to the crowd about the opportunities presented by the collaboration of Maple Leaf and the University of South Australia. The state government has high enthusiasm for education and welcomes the new Maple Leaf school. She used the old Chinese saying: “The book has its own gold house” to encourage students to study hard, expand their international horizons, and become the leaders of the younger generation in the future.
Two student representatives, Chen Jinghao (Edward) and Jia Ruizhe (Ricky) spoke about the reasons for their study in Australia, the adaptation process they have experienced, and their future goals. In a heartfelt manner, they recounted their experience of studying at the Maple Leaf School of the University of South Australia and how it allowed them to learn a lot of things that could not be learned in China. They expressed gratitude to their local host families and their classmates for their love and help. Finally, they expressed their gratitude to Chairman Dr. Sherman Jen and the school’s overseas study opportunities for students.
At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Steve Bousfield, President of the Maple Leaf Affiliated School of the University of South Australia, paid a sincere tribute to all the government departments, university management, Maple Leaf Education Systems managers, the community and the school staff who helped the establishment and operation of the school.
The Maple Leaf International School – University of South Australia is the first Maple Leaf Education Systems High School in Australia. It is the third overseas international school opened by Maple Leaf. MLIS – Thomson Rivers University and MLIS – Kwantlen Polytechnic are both in British Columbia, Canada.