Australia’s new HC launches historic education program – The Island

Australia’s new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Paul Stephens, marked his first official appearance in his new role at the launch of a historic partnership between Firbank Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia, and the Ladies’ College Institute of Professional Studies in Colombo on Friday August 12, 2022, through which Firbank will support Ladies’ College to provide young men and women with the opportunity to obtain the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

The High Commissioner’s presence at the event coincides with the 75th year of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia, signifying the depth of long-term collaboration behind this partnership between the two educational institutions, which will see experienced mentors from Firbank Grammar School working regularly with educators at Ladies’ College to ensure that the VCE program is delivered to the high standards that have earned Firbank its reputation as one of Melbourne’s leading schools.

Thus, thanks to this partnership facilitated by the administrative support of the AustraLanka International Academy, Ladies’ College will allow Sri Lankan students to benefit from an Australian education without having to leave the country. Students in the VCE program at Ladies’ College will share the same experience as students studying VCE in Melbourne, with access to the same assessments and exams.

The launch event, which was also attended by Firbank Grammar School Principal Jenny Williams and International Operations Director Wendy Grant, alongside Ladies’ College Vice-Principal Ranmalee Balasooriya and Ladies’ Chief Operating Officer ‘ College Institute of Professional Studies Sunimal Fernando, along with AustraLanka International Academy Director Amila Jayasuriya began with the traditional lighting of the oil lamp, before representatives of the two schools officially signed the Partnership Agreement.

This is the first partnership of its kind, where an Australian educational institution has made a long-term commitment with a local counterpart to maintain and constantly improve teaching standards. While teachers will benefit from a scalable and enhanced curriculum, students will benefit from more holistic teaching and assessment methods that go far beyond end-of-year exams.

Speaking about it at the launch event, Firbank Grammar School’s Director of International Operations, Wendy Grant explained that Firbank Grammar School wants all of its students, domestic and international, to see themselves as part of of the global community, adding, “When they turn to success, they make a difference not just in their own country, but across the world. We believe that the relationships students develop internationally will contribute to this and help build a collaborative and cooperative global village in the future.

This global village concept is an integral part of the vision of Firbank Grammar School, which has extensive experience in international education and continues to work successfully with ten partner schools in China and Vietnam.

Wendy also noted that Firbank’s foray into Sri Lanka had been in the works for a long time, with several Sri Lankans having worked with the Melbourne school, and some of them being Ladies’ College alumni – so this partnership was born out of the same collaborative culture that it seeks to instill in students through its VCE programs.

The VCE is an internationally recognized certificate of upper secondary education issued by the Government of Victoria which, on completion, awards students with an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) score, which will grant them direct access to universities in Australia as well as in the whole world. This will open up the possibility for them to continue their higher education without the need for additional qualifications such as IELTS, allowing them to access better career paths in the process.

What sets the VCE apart from other qualifications is its emphasis on developing skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, as it aims to prepare students for lifelong learning. life and future employment. More than just a year-end exam, school-assessed courses as well as external exams contribute to an end-of-year study grade.