Leading international education group awarded site in government's first request-for-interest exercise for foreign system school

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24 November 2008


1. A government committee chaired by the Singapore Economic Development Board and comprising key members including the Singapore Land Authority announced today that Cognita, a leading international education group has been awarded a “Brownfield” site at the former Upper Serangoon Secondary School to set up an international school in Singapore.

2. This is the first time that a Request-for-Interest (RFI) exercise has been conducted to award State land sites for foreign system schools (FSS). The exercise which commenced in mid August received strong response. The proposals were assessed based on a matrix of factors including quality of project, ability to meet market demand and investment commitment, including commitment to commence classes in academic year 2009.

3. Cognita emerged as the winning proposal with its quality curriculum offerings and strong track record of outstanding schools worldwide. The group plans to set up the Stamford American International School, a top-tier FSS offering a US-based curriculum. The new school expects its 1st intake in September 2009, with an initial capacity of 600 students and will grow eventually to 2,500 students. This will ease the tight supply of FSS places, particularly for an American-style education.

4. Cognita is a leading international education group based in the United Kingdom which owns and operates over 45 independent schools in UK and Spain. Having acquired the Australian International School of Singapore last year, Cognita is a trusted brand name in Singapore’s education landscape. Cognita is also expanding its regional presence in Asia and recently set up its Asian Regional Headquarters in Singapore.

5. “Cognita Schools is a renowned education group that owns and operates high quality schools, each of which enjoys an excellent reputation within its community. We are pleased that they have emerged as the top quality proposal in this competitive exercise. We believe Cognita Schools will be a significant addition to the current FSS landscape,” said Mr Toh Wee Khiang, Director for Education & Professional Services of the Economic Development Board.

6. “We are very pleased with the decision reached by the committee to award Cognita the Upper Serangoon site for our new Stamford American International School. On the back of our recent announcement of a S$33 million expansion in the Australian International School of Singapore, Cognita is pleased to continue its tradition of investment in high quality educational institutions in Singapore. We are excited to participate in the development of Singapore as a world class educational hub,” said Mr Brian Rogove, Managing Director Asia for Cognita. “The Stamford American International School will provide excellent education from a new and outstanding facility, having the added benefit of being close to the city center with convenient access to public transportation.”

7. “The keen interest from schools who submitted proposals affirms our belief that demand for top quality FSS is expected to grow, notwithstanding the current economic uncertainty,” said Mr Toh. “While we have chosen to award only one site to Cognita this year to address the immediate demand, particularly for the US curriculum, we will continue to monitor market trends closely and may consider launching another round of RFI next year.”

8. SLA’s Director of Land Operations (Private), Mr Teo Cher Hian said, “SLA will work closely with Cognita and assist them to ensure that they can kickstart their operations and redevelopment plans quickly." Mr Teo added that despite the current economic climate, SLA is seeing a sustained demand for state properties for international schools. To date, 19 international schools are using State properties as campuses.

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Ms. Cai Peijuan Senior Officer,
Communications DID: 65 6832 6881
Email: peijuan_cai@edb.gov.sg

Ms. Violetta Wong Principal Executive,
Corporate Communications DID: 65 6478 3883
Email: violetta_wong@sla.gov.sg

Kelvin Lee / Yanni Yoong
6347 2320 / 6347 2304
kelvin.lee@edelman.com / yanni.yoong@edelman.com

About the Singapore Economic Development Board

The Economic Development Board (EDB) is the lead government agency responsible for planning and executing economic strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global hub for business and investment. We are the one-stop agency that facilitates and supports local and foreign investors in both the manufacturing and services sectors as they seek more value-creating operations, higher sustainable returns and new business opportunities.

Singapore commands global leadership positions in many areas. EDB is expanding and extending existing industry clusters, as well as exploring new growth areas to create good jobs and secure Singapore’s future competitiveness. Our emphasis is on capital-intensive, knowledge-intensive and innovation-intensive activities. EDB is constantly identifying new business areas to develop both in terms of new technologies as well as new consumer demands, such as our 'clean and green' focus - environmental technologies, urban solutions and clean energy, lifestyle, healthcare and wellness. EDB is also expanding our geographical reach, such as Middle East, in addition to North America, Europe, Japan, China, India and ASEAN.

For more information on how EDB can help in your business and investment, please visit www.sedb.com

About SLA

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is a statutory board with the Ministry of Law. Its mission is to optimise land resources for the economic and social development of Singapore. SLA is responsible for the direct management of some 14,000 hectares of State land and about 5,000 buildings. It is also in charge of land sales, leases, acquisitions and allocation, developing and marketing land-related information, and maintaining the national land information database through digitised land information services. SLA is also the national land registration authority for property transactions, and the issuance and guarantee of land titles in Singapore. It also manages and maintains the national land survey systems, including the defining of boundaries or legal limits of properties based on a coordinated cadastre survey systems. Please visit www.sla.gov.sg for more information