Our Story

Our Origins – Founded by Parents and Dulwich College

Nearly 400 years after Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn founded Dulwich College, a boys’ school in London, British lawyer Fraser White and his wife Karen Yung began looking for a school in Shanghai that would provide for their three young children. They wanted a challenging and ambitious education that would prepare their children for the future, moulding them into confident and well-rounded young people. Beyond academics, they wanted a school community with the open-mindedness and doughtiness bred of international experience, a strong co-curricular programme and the grounding provided by venerable British educational traditions.  

Their search came up short. A serendipitous meeting with Graham Able, the then Master of Dulwich College in London, resulted in the idea of opening an international Dulwich College in Shanghai.

Dating back to 1619, Dulwich College is one of the UK’s oldest independent schools, and it has a long history of academic excellence, innovation and respect for tradition. Its academic strength was matched by its broad and challenging co-curricular programme in sports, music, visual arts, drama and debate, which were underdeveloped in Shanghai at that time. The Dulwich London Governors embraced the idea and under the leadership of Eddie George, the then Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Governors, Dulwich formed a 100-year global partnership with Fraser and Karen to open international colleges around the world.  Dulwich College International was born.

Since we opened our first school in Shanghai in 2003 our international family of schools has grown in China and elsewhere in Asia with our students achieving academic results that place them alongside the world’s best.  They make significant strides in sport and in the arts, graduating to leading universities around the world.  Fraser and Karen’s children were no exception and have since graduated from our schools earning themselves places at Oxford and top universities in the United States.

One College, Many Campuses

Since 2003, enrolment at Dulwich College International schools has grown to over 7,200 students hailing from more than 60 countries. Our group now comprises of ten schools in seven cities and four countries in Asia, which makes Dulwich College International the fastest growing UK independent school network overseas.

Growth is surely a sign of our success, but what matters is how we use it.

Being part of a network allows our schools to work together, leveraging their talent and resources to put on events, forge internal and external relationships and share experiences. This exposes our students and staff to a rich and varied choice of experiences that individual schools could not offer on their own.

By virtue of our group’s relationships with leading educational and artistic institutions, Dulwich College International students perform soliloquies under the tutelage of actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company, sing with the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and work with the innovative musicians from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

They take an active part in group sporting, artistic, intellectual and leadership events, such as the Diversity series, the Dulwich Festival of Music, the Science and Art Photo Competition, the Shakespeare Festival, the Mike Gatting Cricket Festival, the Shackleton Lectures, and the Student Leadership Conference. 

They learn about the importance of giving back through community service, and as many of these projects are brought under the umbrella of the Dulwich International Schools Foundation, their opportunities will expand further. They enjoy the benefits of the extensive, structured programme of professional learning that we provide to all our staff members.

They will reap the benefits of our STEAM curriculum in our SE21 Studios, as well as our pioneering Mandarin programme, which addresses the unique challenges of teaching this complex and wonderful language. With group support, we have made a huge investment of time in both these programmes, which are so crucial to preparing our children for the future.

Our network attracts leading and innovative academic leaders. The Dulwich College International Schools Team support the academic teams at each of our schools, giving them the advantage of their specialist knowledge, ensuring consistency in the content and quality of our teaching, and spreading innovations they may observe at one school throughout the group.

And finally, our network strengthens community bonds. Students from different Dulwich College International schools may get to know each other one year through a group event, and find themselves classmates the next when one of them has moved from, say, Dulwich College in Singapore to Dulwich College Shanghai. Students facing the challenges of an international move will make a much smoother transition when their new school is so familiar. With many of our teachers transferring within the family of schools as well, we are able to keep the benefits of their knowledge and experience within the group.

Our Vision and Purpose

Since the early 2000s, our goals have evolved into a Vision and Purpose guided by three pillars, and underpinned by our motto, Detur Pons Mundo

This clear vision - to create the best schools in the world so our students make a positive difference - guides the decisions we make as a family of schools. Our schools, founded in 2003 by parents who wanted the best for their children, have always and will continue to put our students first. We use the strength of our network to continue to pioneer and innovate in all aspects of the organisation – from curricula and educational spaces to events and technology.

Our students are already among the world’s best, and our young alumni, who are all still under 30, are already beginning to make a difference as they enter the worlds of medicine, law, business, technology, the arts and public service. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do.