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Our dedicated Higher Education and Careers Guidance team provides students and parents with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about universities and careers. You can find our international team in the IB Academy, ensuring students receive full access and guidance through the IB — whether it's in English, Chinese or Korean.  


Our office of Higher Education and Careers Guidance incorporates our Five Pillars – Internationalism, STEAM, Performing Arts, Sport and Academic Achievement – asking our students to think critically about their experiences at BISS Puxi to refine their approach to a rapidly developing and unpredictable future. Maintaining a growth mindset is key.

In one-to-one meetings, counsellors ask students to consistently reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, both academic and extracurricular. We strongly encourage our students to view the IBDP curriculum holistically and contribute to ECAs such as our NAE UNICEF Summit, Duke of Edinburgh International Award Scheme, and Global Goals ECA, to name a few. Students also regularly take their passions and hobbies beyond campus – we provide a curated list of partnered and recommended summer programmes, research programmes, community service projects, online courses and readings.

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  • Higher Education

Meet Our Team

Meet the team responsible for our students’ ongoing success. Inspiring leaders and world-class teachers providing guidance, support, and direction, create an environment where your child can flourish.

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Alexander Olya
Head of Higher Education and Careers Guidance

Alexander is the Head of Higher Education and Careers Guidance at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi Campus.

Alexander Olya — BA

I joined BISS Puxi after having worked in China’s university counselling industry for over seven years. Prior to coming to China, I served as an education transcript evaluator for U.S. academic equivalencies, consequently becoming familiar with education systems around the world.

I attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, where I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature.

My role is to help students identify best-fit universities whilst also ensuring that their applications are compelling, memorable and reflective in ways that stand out in an increasingly competitive applicant pool. Put succinctly, I advise students from myriad backgrounds on how to prepare strategically and plan ahead for a successful career.

I aim to encourage students to consider how BISS’ Five Pillars can be built upon in their lives beyond school. Particularly, I find it useful for students to ground their interests by enquiring into global issues and goals - and even taking the initiative to challenge the status quo.

I absolutely love a good read - the more esoteric the book’s topic, the better.

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Jessie Lee
IB CAS Coordinator and Higher Education Guidance
Jessie Lee is IB CAS Coordinator and Higher Education Guidance at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi Campus.
Jessie Lee — BA

I joined one of the biggest IT multinational companies and worked with teams on many projects across the world for ten years. I have been trained in Self-Management Leadership and Non-Violent Communication skills in Korea and Organisational Coaching in Shanghai and Hong Kong. I began work at BISS Puxi in 2018, firstly as the Korean Liaison Officer, then moving into the role as Korean Advisor for both Primary and Secondary Schools.

I am a native Korean who graduated from the Sogang University with a BA Degree in English Language and Literature (Minor in Business). I am a certified Youth Counsellor with a BA Degree in Counselling Psychology.

I work as IB CAS Coordinator and Higher Education Guidance in the IB Academy supporting Years 12 and 13 students. CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service) is the core of the IB Diploma Programme and deeply relates to the lives of our students.

I very much enjoy working with young adults as a coach to find their potential and help them to develop their talents. I believe everyone can be creative and creativity makes our world better and more vivid.

I moved to Shanghai in 2009 with my family and I have a 17-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. I love all kinds of art and playing the flute. I also enjoy trips with my family.

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June Yao
Higher Education Counsellor
June Yao is Higher Education Counsellor at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi Campus.
June Yao — BA (Hons)

I joined BISS PUXI in 2006 and have taken up various responsibilities along the years – both administrative and academic – which I give credit to for helping me develop an understanding of international education, communication skills to bridge dissimilarities and overcome conflicts, strong motivations and passions to make room for ambitious possibilities, which will carry through to my future counselling career.

I studied at the East China Normal University for my BS in Software Engineering. I have a qualification in College Counselling with Distinction at UCLA Extension, and I also hold a National Teacher’s Qualification License for Secondary School English teaching (English as a Second Language).

I currently work in the IB Academy, college-counselling students for their post-secondary school education. Our goal is to help students prepare themselves for a future with expanded opportunities.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge, meanwhile learning from others. Here in the IB Academy – no matter whether we are staff or students - we strive to nurture our curiosity, develop skills for inquiry and research, we learn independently and with others, we learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

I’m a big fan of Roger Federer and I enjoy playing tennis myself. As a family, we enjoy travelling and meeting people of different cultures.

Meet Our Team

Every member of the BISS team contributes to our reputation as Shanghai's premium international school.

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Alexander Cattell
Head of IB Academy
Alexander is Head of the IB Academy at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi.
Dr Alexander Cattell — BA (Hons)
I have taught Modern Languages extensively at secondary level and in the higher education sector since 2005. I joined BISS Puxi from a leading IB World School in the UK in 2016 as a teacher of Spanish and French. I was promoted to Secondary Global Campus Leader in 2017 and then to Head of Modern Languages in 2019.

I graduated with a first-class-honours degree in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter. After completing an MA in Spanish and Latin American Studies at King’s College, London, followed by a PhD in Spanish History at the University of Exeter, I undertook a PGCE in Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge.

As Assistant Head teacher and Head of The IB Academy, I lead on the communication and promotion of the mission and philosophy of the International Baccalaureate throughout the school; I am responsible for the administration of IB Diploma Programme; and I work closely with the IB Pastoral Lead, the CAS Coordinator and the Higher Education counsellors to support our students with their studies and prepare them for their future.

I love teaching students about the rich and diverse literature and culture of the Hispanic world, endeavouring to develop international-mindedness in the process. I also enjoy teaching Theory of Knowledge and encouraging students to question assumptions and to recognise a multitude of perspectives in order to confront present-day challenges.

I enjoy reading (particularly Hispanic literature), cinema, travel and music.

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Joseph Gichana
Head of Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay

Joseph Gichana is Head of Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi.

Joseph Gichana — BA (Hons), MBA, PGCE

I started my teaching career in a community-funded school in rural Kenya before joining an international school in Nairobi. I then moved to Xi’an, China, after which I joined NAIS Pudong where I served as Head of Humanities as well as teaching TOK, Economics and Business Management.

I completed my BA (Economics) degree at Kenyatta University, Nairobi before graduating with an MBA from Tongji University, Shanghai and a PGCE from the University of Sunderland.

As a member of the school’s IB Team, I serve as the Head of Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay. I also serve as the teacher representative on Nord Anglia’s Charitable Giving Committee that promotes the funding of student-led community based initiatives.

I always look forward to drawing on real-world examples and case studies to bring Economics into the classroom and help students to enrich their conceptual understanding. I enjoy seeing the students develop attitudes to learning through research, communication and self-management which are skills they will carry on to the world of work.

I am married with two children, one of whom has joined university while the second is a student at BISS. I enjoy long distance running as well as travelling with family.

Janice Lyke
IB Pastoral Leader
Janice Lyke is IB Pastoral Leader at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi.
Janice Lyke — BLS DipTchg

Having started my career teaching Physical Education in New Zealand, I travelled to the UK for four years. I returned to New Zealand to start my family. In 2014, we moved together to the UAE where I worked in an IB school for four years before moving to Shanghai to NAIS Pudong where I completed four years of service before transferring to BISS Puxi.

I graduated from Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Leisure and Sports Studies Degree majoring in Physical Education. I then went on to Auckland College of Education to acquire my Diploma of Teaching (Secondary).

I am a teacher of Whole School Physical Education from Nursery all the way through to Year 11. I also teach Sports and Exercise Health Science as part of the Group 4 Sciences for the IB Diploma Programme. Additionally, I am the Pastoral Leader for our students in Years 12 and 13. This role involves overseeing the well-being of our IB students.

I particularly like working with young people, helping to motivate them to achieve their full potential and individual dreams. I enjoy encouraging students to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle through the enjoyment of sport and physical activity.

I have two children aged 12 and 8 years old who attend BISS Puxi. My husband, Benjamin, works in corporate IT. We enjoy spending time together swimming in the summer and drinking coffee in the winter.



To give students a distinct advantage in their futures, our Higher Education team takes a goal-oriented, interdisciplinary approach centred around global challenges. Students contemplate and work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, integrated within our Global Campus curriculum and resources. Ergo, students themselves are goal-driven and ambitious yet adaptable when considering their futures, in turn developing “application personas” to better package themselves in increasingly competitive pools of candidates. What is more, having cultivated a willingness to challenge the status quo, they are better positioned to make a difference as our planet’s future leaders.
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Students leave BISS Puxi with ambition and equipped with the academic results, confidence and resilience they need to succeed at whatever they choose to do or be in life. What's more, they'll always be part of the Nord Anglia family.

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Oxford University
“Something I found really rewarding at BISS Puxi was the public speaking confidence I developed, along with the opportunity to develop my passion for global affairs.”
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Yuen Ning
Yale University

“Many of the teachers at BISS Puxi have taught me to love learning, they have inspired me to learn about different perspectives and to understand the world”

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Imperial College London
“I think what I love most about BISS Puxi is the international community of teachers and friends. It’s an environment that encourages you to be the best that you can be.”  
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Loughborough University
"Through the BISS Puxi CAS programme I wanted to use my love of sports to make a difference to people less fortunate...It brought everything together – my love for sport, bringing communities together and doing something really meaningful through sport”
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Danube Private Dentistry University in Austria
"The performing arts allowed me to find a balance in my life...it takes perseverance to really stick with something, to be able to continue with something even when it's really hard, so it’s a lot of commitment that helps me in all areas of school.”


Aside from our dedicated and knowledgeable team, our office boasts various workshops and assemblies aimed at preparing students and parents for the higher education process early. We also invite representatives from top universities across the globe, for example from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, to speak on our campus. Conditions permitting, we also aim to hold an annual university fair in the early spring. We love to hear that our sessions have contributed to dinner table discussions that break the standard mould.
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Our students secure places at prestigious universities across the world. Last year, around 45% of our students who applied to undergraduate courses are taking up places in the QS Top 50 Universities.


Speak to our Admissions Team about what makes us unique or arrange a visit to our campus and see for yourself.

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