New Chinese boarding school in Massachusetts

From the Lowell Sun:

Atlantic Union College, the small Seventh-day Adventist university that discontinued academic programming this spring due to declining enrollment, is currently in talks with a Chinese company to convert its campus into a preparatory school.

“The college closed its academic programming and now there is a need to go forward and find out some form of future use for the property,” said David Dennis, president of the Southern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “In their search for an interested party, there was one group that approached Atlantic Union and the Southern New England Conference wondered if there could be some partnership in making a college prep school.

The third party Dennis referred to is Eaglebridge Educational Holdings, a Hong Kong-based company that operates international schools primarily throughout China. According to Dennis, a memorandum of understanding was signed between his conference and Eaglebridge Educational Holdings last month.

My thoughts:

1. A number of American colleges will close in the coming years. Bankrupt.

2. Chinese education entrepreneurs currently seek to buy U.S. boarding schools.

a. More Chinese parents want to send their children to U.S. boarding schools.

But American boarding schools limit the # of Chinese kids they admit. Part of that, headmasters tell me, is because the Chinese students are seen as isolated and introverted (more likely to keep to themselves, less likely to play sports).

So there is a shortage of seats.

b. A network of several Chinese private schools might want one American school from a marketing standpoint.

3. Most U.S. boarding schools are non-profits which have no interest in selling.

So there is a shortage of supply.

3b. I know a small private K-8 in New Hampshire. Mom and Pop operation. Declining enrollment: 200 to 130 to 60.

Near death.

They put the school up for sale a few months ago. At least 5 Chinese bidders, and zero American bidders.

But there aren’t many of even these types of schools.

4. Solution?

Buy a college to get the real estate, plus (hopefully) to convert its college accreditation into a high school accreditation (rather than waiting for 3-4 years), plus perhaps even some faculty.

We’ll see more of this.

Similar thing here. Old IBM campus.

Similar story here – with lawsuits.