Education Programmes

ACEF supports educators in the UK and China and assists them in working together to enrich the quality of education in schools, enabling young people to thrive in a global society.

Currently the Foundation focuses on primary and secondary education. The reasons are twofold: firstly, the kinds of talent we want to develop require starting at a young age; secondly, in contrast to British universities, schools in Britain have fewer Chinese students and less collaboration with equivalent Chinese institutions. 

Education in China focuses on classroom subjects---students work hard and for long hours. The latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012, a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which compares scholastic performance among the 15-year-old school pupils, shows that pupils in Shanghai topped the chart of 65 countries in mathematics, science, and reading. 

Independent schools in the UK many of which have a long history and rich traditions also have an excellent reputation for high standards of teaching and learning. Almost all pupils go on to prestigious universities when they leave. There are also many excellent government schools with similar high standards. However these schools have a much wider focus of curriculum than that is of the case in China.

Along with sport, UK schools offer many extra-curricular activities; that is, activities through which students are able to experience, intellectual or cultural development that goes beyond classroom learning. Music, drama, science and literary societies are to be found in almost all schools, and there are many opportunities for outdoor education. Visits to theatres, concerts, art galleries and museums are all part of life in a UK school. 

To achieve its goal, the Foundation seeks to increase the cultural awareness and cross cultural effectiveness of students in the UK and China.  It also seeks to increase the accessibility of both state and private schools in these countries by helping talented individuals receive the best education regardless of their nationality.  Several methods are employed in this regard.Firstly, organised exchange programmes expose students to people from a variety of cultural, religious, geographic and socio-economic backgrounds, which in turn provide the opportunity for students to develop a greater understanding of diversity. This helps students to become more well-rounded individuals and broaden their horizons by providing them the opportunity to experience and study in a cross cultural learning environment.  

Students may choose to improve their language skills. English and Mandarin are today two of the most important languages for students to learn: native speakers of each stand to gain a great deal by developing their skills with the other.

Secondly, the Foundation promotes Chinese language and culture to interested government and private schools in the UK, for example, through the organization of China Days during the Chinese Spring Festival. ACEF has successfully organised China Day events in British schools which would otherwise have had little exposure to Chinese culture. China Day is an annual or one off event where Chinese entertainment is  performed and other Chinese customs and traditions are publicised. Entertainment on the day includes displays of martial arts, Chinese calligraphy and unique Chinese music playing using erhu, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument and Guzheng. There are also performances of face changing, part of the Sichuan Opera, which is one of many local operas in China, popular in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou. Face changing refers to the changing of masks in quick succession to show different emotions and feelings of the characters in a play. China Days have inspired and encouraged schools and their pupils to stimulate interest in learning Mandarin and to explore Chinese culture, in the form of school trips to China. 

Thirdly, the Foundation helps and supports families who are looking for a school in China or Britain, for example, those Chinese families who would like to send their children to study at the best UK schools. It also helps British families who are interested in sending their children to China for a visit or for a short study trip, ranging from one or two weeks, to a month, a term or even a year. Students might be encouraged to visit China and learn Mandarin after having attended a China Day in their school. These Chinese experiences prove to be not only valuable to students, but also helpful in their applications to university or gain employment. The Foundation also supports those who are relocating to China for employment or permanently and are in search of a good school for their children. It organises study trips to some of the best schools, giving parents and students a chance to test out the learning environment. It provides practical advice on how to optimise acceptance rates into these schools. In summary, the Foundation can help and provide a range of customized services, from China Day to long term study options in China according to individual requirements. 

Finally, teachers’ exchange programmes help teachers develop learning programmes in collaboration with their counterparts from the other country. Much can be learnt from the way in which subjects like mathematics are taught in China. On the other hand, teachers from British schools have a great deal to offer in imparting their skills in the teaching of humanities, social skills, the arts and sport.