Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, several Chinese investors took over the administration of hundreds of independent schools in the United Kingdom that have been reeling under financial crisis, reported The Mail.
In a bid to influence the British education system, several high-profile members of the Communist regime in China have begun investing heavily in British schools. The Mail reported that 17 schools in Britain are already owned by Chinese firms, 9 of which are run by senior members of the Communist Party of China (CCP).
One such firm told the newspaper that the objective behind taking over British schools is to ‘support’ China’s expansionist Belt and Road strategy. The Mail reported that educational tools at such schools were used to present a ‘whitewashed view of China’ to the British students. The Chinese strategy to make inroads into the British classrooms have been facilitated by the funding crisis that has hit several independent schools, amidst the pandemic.
The concerted takeover of British schools by the Chinese Communist regime
Given that students are now taking classes online, coupled with a lower rate of enrolments, boarding schools have witnessed 35% reduction in fees. The drop is about 20% for day-pupils. Furthermore, many independent schools failed to capitalise on the business loan schemes as they had to run operations to support students studying online and the children of frontline workers. Sensing an opportunity, the Chinese firms have been eyeing such schools that are at the brink of shutting down.
In 2020, Chinese companies took over three schools, including the Abbots Bromley School that had shut operations the previous year. Bright Scholar, owned by Country Garden Group, is one such operator that is involved in this predatory investment. The company was founded by Yang Guoqiang, a Chinese Communist Party member. Bright Scholar is now run by his billionaire daughter Yang Huiyan and has bought several independent schools such as Bournemouth Collegiate School, St Michael’s School in Llanelli, Carmarthanshire and Bosworth Independent College.
Besides the Bright Scholar, another Chinese firm named Wanda Group owns two independent schools namely Ipswich High School and Bedstone College. The company was founded by one Wang Jianlin, who is an ex-PLA (People’s Liberation Army) soldier. Apart from that, Heathfield Knoll School in Worcestershire and Kingsley School in Bideford has CCP members on its Board.
In fact, Chinese investors started purchasing prestigious British schools a few years back, thanks to the falling value of British currency. The UK had then seen the investment as a positive change as it may let ‘high quality’ Chinese students in UK and cultivate an international look. The UK students were to have a ‘sense of globalisation’ with Chinese investment.
Chinese company buys British schools, indoctrinates children with a sanitised history
Ray Education Group, which owns Adcote School for Girls and Myddelton College, has openly stated on its website that its motive is to support China’s Belt and Road initiative and boost the country’s political and economic influence globally through British brand schools. James Hu, Ray Education’s chief executive and CCP (Hongkou) secretary informed the Mail about the company’s plans to acquire two more schools in near future.
Furthermore, the Confucius International Education Group bought the Riddlesworth Hall Preparatory School, a school where Princess Diana studied, in 2015. The Confucius Institutes now exist in 29 British universities and 150 schools. While they claim to promote Chinese culture and language, the Mail reported that they curb free speech and peddle CCP propaganda.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab informed that the institute is under scrutiny in several Western countries. Besides, educational resources such as Chinese Buddy features President Xi Jinping dancing while another tool called Chairman’s Bao promotes articles about wholesome tourism in areas (where Uyghur Muslims are persecuted).
Nigel Farage exposes the sinister Chinese plan
Reform Party leader Nigel Farage exposed the Chinese takeover of British schools in a video uploaded on Twitter on Sunday. “We also knew that British universities were receiving quite large sum of Chinese money. But this story has remained untold until this moment of time. It is that the Chinese are now buying up British schools. I haven’t heard this until a few days ago,” he said.
The British politician emphasised, “It started in 2014 and it is now gathering pace. Why is it happening? Now, the independent and private sector educates about 7% of our children. But school fee inflation has been so rapid over the years that many of them have got real financial difficulties.” He said that the Boarding schools have compensated for the financial constraints by welcoming Chinese students and making them pay high fees.
BREAKING— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 20, 2021
Chinese billionaires with direct links to the CCP are buying up British schools — and flooding the curriculum with their propaganda.
This Communist takeover of our education system must be stopped. pic.twitter.com/3KsmUKIzev
While highlighting the sinister Chinese plan, he gave the example of Bright Scholar and the Confucius International Education Group and their links to the Communist regime. “..A sanitised version of China and what it has done in the past and what it is doing now is being presented. No mention of the course of the Uyghurs. No mention of course about democracy in Hong Kong. They (students) are being told that China is the future. And they are being indoctrinated by the Chinese Communist party,” Nigel Farage added.
With Mike Pompeo gone, Nigel Farage has become the most notorious McCarthyist in the world.— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@chenweihua) February 20, 2021
While urging Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to deal with the matter urgently, he pointed out that it is not just the economic takeover but also a cultural takeover of the United Kingdom.