How did you come to be principal at BISS?
I’ve been in education for 20 years and have led a number of outstanding schools. I was previously a principal for the world’s leading international school organisation, Nord Anglia Education with Dover Court International School in Singapore. So when the opportunity arose to lead the British International School Shanghai, Puxi, which is also a Nord Anglia Education school, I was very pleased to be able to head up such a prestigious institution.
Have you always worked in education?
No, prior to working as an educator, I was a software design engineer, although this was a very long time ago when computers would fill whole rooms! However, I think my experience in that field informed my work as a principal, as it made me realise the importance of ensuring that students are given lots of opportunities to apply their learning. We know that this is what many global employers are keen to see in their workforces: not just excellent standards of academic achievement, but also an intelligent and nuanced understanding of how to apply skills in real world settings.
What appealed to you about teaching and living in Shanghai?
China’s such an important global power that I was very keen to experience life here and its culture. Shanghai’s also a vibrant and diverse city, so that was appealing too.
You can read more about Dr Neil Hopkin's school days in the Time out Shanghai article here: The hot seat: Dr Neil Hopkin, principal of The British International School Shanghai, Puxi