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Eric Chen, student at NAIS Pudong

The reward of well-rounded study

Nearing the end of his first year of university, Eric Chen, a graduate from our sister school, Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong, shares his thoughts on how the rigour and well-rounded approach to academic study through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in his senior years at school prepared him well for his degree.

As students prepare to sit their exams this term, the revision being done will set them up for success now and when they go on to university. Just like exam revision, academic study at university is often done independently says NAIS Pudong graduate Eric Chen.

“You have to take the initiative to study,” Eric said.

“Nobody is going to tell you to attend lectures or classes. It’s on you to catch up and work at a pace that suits you.”

Eric, who moved to the UK to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, also said the challenging and holistic nature of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme curriculum, offered at ICS and many Nord Anglia schools globally, provided a strong foundation for him to achieve and thrive at university both academically and socially.

“I don’t think I could have had better preparation,” Eric said.

In the last seven years, Nord Anglia Education’s academic performance has exceeded global averages. Of the 2018 graduating class from across the whole of Nord Anglia's family of schools, one in three students were admitted into the world’s top 100 universities. 

Here at ICS, over 94% of students pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, placing us amongst the top 2% of schools worldwide and giving our students a passport to attend some of the world's best universities. Our graduates attend renowned colleges such as the University of Oxford, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge.

Eric said the Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) sections of the IB programme helped spark his passion for effective altruism after a classroom discussion about the ethics of charitable giving.

“It sparked my interest in global poverty and our ethical response to it,” Eric said.

Students graduating at Nord Anglia Education schools

As part of his CAS project and ongoing interest, he formed and ran an effective altruistic society at NAIS Pudong with the help of teachers, classmates and friends, exploring ways to impact his community.

“We used the amazing connections the school had with local charities. Together with the school finance committee and the service committee we hosted events with teachers and friends and were able to connect with leading people at these charities,” Eric said.

The experience, which taught him how to take his interest and turn it into something concrete, later led him to become president of the effective altruistic society at LSE.

“It was one of the most helpful and impactful experiences I got from my time at NAIS Pudong,” Eric said.

“It showed that it’s possible to follow your passion and make an impact in the world.” So much so, Eric wants to pursue a career in effective altruism.

“I really identify with this movement and want to pursue a career in it in the next five-to-10 years,” said Eric. “It’s all thanks to discussions that were spun at high school.”

As students across the globe sit their exams in the coming weeks group Education Director said subject revision enables students to take a holistic approach not only to academic study, but in everything they do in life.

“We want to support all our students to love learning and achieve more than they ever thought possible,” Nord Anglia Education, Education Director Andy Puttock said.

“The curriculum our students learn from enables them to develop skills that lead to not just excellent academic performance, but also gives them the mindset to thrive both at university and in the jobs market. These life skills combined with the technical skills provide our students with the opportunity to make a greater impact in the societies they live in now and in the future."

Read more: Why choose the International Baccalaureate?