KLCII is proud to have an enduring collaborative relationship over the last 27 years with Beijing Normal University (BNU) as it celebrates its 120th anniversary this year.

KLCII BNU graduates will be attending an event at the Marina Bay Sands on 18 June to mark the momentous occasion of their alma mater, together with other BNU graduates in Singapore. The guest of honour at the event will be Education Chancellor Kang Kai from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore.

KLCII offers both early childhood education (EC) diploma and degree courses in partnership with BNU. Some 680 KLCII graduates from these courses have been officially accepted and registered as overseas alumni of the University since 2018. Dr Chen Shi, Vice Principal for KLCII’s Chinese Programmes, a BNU graduate herself became the first foreign institute representative to be elected into the alumni’s central committee in Beijing in 2017.

The BNU Education Faculty Alumni Committee’s 3rd meeting in Beijing First row: Mr Zhou Man Sheng, MOE official (2nd from left), Professor Gu Ming Yuan (4th from left), Professor Chen Li, Vice President (5th from right), Professor Li Jiayong (4th from right), Dr Chen Shi KLC VP Chinese Programmes (2nd row, 4th from left)

KLCII’s partnership with BNU began in May 1995, when it launched the first of its kind joint KLC-BNU Diploma in Chinese Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) to meet the demand from local Chinese preschool teachers seeking further advancement for their professional development.

Singapore’s first intake of the KLC-BNU Chinese Early Childhood Diploma in 1995 with Professor Zhu Shi Yuan (2nd row, 8th from left). Professor Zhu was formerly a director of BNU’s preschool education department. She was KLCII’s advisor from 2004 to 2013.

The relationship was further cemented in 2002 when KLCII signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BNU to offer what was to be the first Chinese Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education in Singapore in 2004.

Beijing Normal University and KLC signs MOU for Early Childhood Chinese degree programme in 2002. From left, Dr Jane-Ching-Kwan, former KLC CEO/Principal, Mr Robert Leong GCOO, Crestar Education Group, Professor Zhou Zuo Yu, Vice Principal BNU, Professor Liu Yan, BNU

In the same year, KLCII, was the only Singapore early childhood teachers training institute invited to attend BNU’s 100th Anniversary celebrations in Beijing.

Beijing Normal University 100th Anniversary Celebration held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2002. From left: Professor Dong Qi (BNU President from 2012 – 2022), Professor Zhong Bin Lin (BNU President from 2001 – 2012), Ms Lorna Poon (former KLC GM), Dr Florence Lee (former KLC Academic Director)

Both the BNU EC diploma and degree programmes in Chinese offered by KLCII are the University’s the first overseas collaboration outside China for early childhood (EC) teacher training. Today they are still the only ones approved by China’s Ministry of Education for overseas students. The BNU programmes have so far produced  a total of 680 graduates in Singapore.

The collaboration between KLCII and BNU over the years has been wide ranging.  In the past, BNU lecturers had been invited here to conduct the chinese EC diploma and degree programmes. KLCII has also occasionally invited EC experts and subject specialists from the University to speak at seminars and workshops for preschool teachers and administrators in Singapore and the region. Similarly, BNU has also invited Dr Chen Shi to share her views and experience at its conferences and seminars in China.

More recently, Dr Chen Shi was invited  by BNU’s School of Continuing Education and Teacher Training  to join a team of EC specialists in China to design and develop an advanced training programme for outstanding preschool principals. The nine-day intensive training programme was launched in China in mid-April 2022.