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Following Pandit Nehru’s Path: Indians In British Boarding Schools

Boarding schools are not merely schools with associated accommodation; in the way, one might view a university. Boarding school life is a cohesive entity day and night, they frequently have world-class facilities all readily accessible on-site and round-the-clock staffing.

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The number of Indian students in British boarding schools has been rising steadily for over a decade and has quadrupled in the last thirteen years. Recent data has shown that overseas students at UK independent schools who apply to Cambridge have a 300% greater chance of success when measured against students applying from schools in India.


India has a strong history with British boarding schools stretching back over a hundred years. Indeed, India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru attended the elite Harrow School in 1905. It was at Harrow that Nehru was presented with the first volume of G M Trevelyan's historical trilogy on Giuseppe Garibaldi as a prize for academic excellence. Decades later Nehru cited the impact these volumes had on him and the inspiration which contributed in part to his struggle for India's freedom and independence by learning about Garibaldi's role in the unification of Italy. This one snapshot is a rich association upon which future Indian students could be inspired to build. In recent years India's impressive rate of development has seen outstanding internationally focussed schools open in its major cities offering Indian students globally recognised qualifications such as iGCSEs, A-levels and The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. With such improvements in local educational offerings, one may be forgiven for thinking that there are no longer marked benefits to be gained from sending your children to board in Britain. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. 


We now know that the world's leading universities, particularly in the UK and America are looking for much more from their applicants than just excellent grades. The environment at British independent boarding schools is extremely fertile ground for harnessing these crucial co-curricular interests and 'soft skills' that can be the difference between a place at a good university and a truly outstanding one. In bringing our British Boarding Schools Show to India for the first time we hope to showcase a selection of some of our leading boarding schools, giving families a chance to hear from the horse's mouth just what a profound effect a boarding education can have on a student's future success not only at university but well beyond into their professional life. 


Boarding schools are not merely schools with associated accommodation; in the way, one might view a university. Boarding school life is a cohesive entity day and night, they frequently have world-class facilities all readily accessible on-site and round-the-clock staffing. Many former boarding students will testify that what they did at the end of the day at boarding school after classroom lessons ended was at least as valuable and impactful as their academic studies on their overall development. This progressive yet traditional holistic education then is twenty-four seven. With competition for places at the world’s leading universities and colleges showing no signs of abating, acceptance rates at the Ivy League colleges seemingly fixed in permanent decline, Indian students are increasingly going to need to set themselves apart from the crowd. An opportune time then to consider super-charging their education by studying at a leading British boarding school. In doing so, not only will they reap the benefits of an immersive educational experience but they will mark themselves out more easily for university application by avoiding being swept up by the vast numbers of applicants originating from India-based schools. 



Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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