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More students and more diverse than ever

jeudi, 30 octobre 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eoghan O'Sullivan (Alumni Officer)
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The very first intake at Ecolint in 1924 brought together eight students: four from Switzerland, three Americans and one Russian. Ninety years later the Foundation has a total enrolment of 4,410 students covering 139 nationalities across its three campuses and eight schools.

1924 register
The Ecolint student register from 1924. (Click for a bigger version.)

The latest figures from the Admissions Department indicate that Ecolint has more students than ever before, representing a huge diversity of nationalities and mother tongues. A report compiled last year by Director of Education Conrad Hughes asserted that Ecolint might well have the highest level of national diversity of any school in the world. Leaving aside the United World Colleges’ national committees, which operate in 140 countries in the world, the next closest school, with 130 nationalities represented among its 1,500 students, is the United Nations International School in New York.

Increasing diversity

There has been a notable increase in national diversity at Ecolint in recent years: five years ago the total number of nationalities was 125, increasing to a high of 140 last year. The dominant countries across the whole Foundation in terms of national origin are the UK, Switzerland, France and the USA. Only the Campus des Nations varies from this, with India replacing Switzerland among the top four on what is the Foundation's most diverse campus.

Ecolint student nationalities
Nationalities of students at the International School of Geneva, 2014-2015.
(Source: Admissions Office)

La Grande Boissière remains the biggest campus with 1,872 students of which 19% are of Swiss nationality. At La Châtaigneraie there are 1,545 students with the UK as the dominant nationality at 22%. The UK is also the most common nationality at Campus des Nations, but is less dominant representing 11% of the 993 students there.

Other nationalities with upwards of 100 or more representatives at Ecolint are Canada, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, India, Japan, Germany and Belgium. Thereafter the "long tail" stretches out across the globe, with students from just about every corner of every continent.

Spoken here

The diversity of nationalities is reflected in the number of mother tongues spoken, with a total of 89 for the current school year. After English and French, the next most commonly spoken mother tongues among students are Spanish, Russian and Italian. These top five languages for the Foundation are also the top five at LGB. At La Chât Dutch replaces Russian, and at Campus des Nations Japanese and Hindi replace Russian and Italian.

Mother tongues at Ecolint
Mother tongues of the students at the International School of Geneva, 2014-2015
(Source: Admissions Office)

And what about the teachers? Among a total of around 530 teachers there are 31 different nationalities. This figure rose to 35 in 2009, but recent years have seen an increasing dominance of teachers from the UK, Switzerland and France. The top ten is completed by the USA, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland and Italy.

The challenge of diversity

As a parting thought, I'll add this quote from the 2013-2014 report of Ecolint's Director of Education: " school should be complacent in the belief that a diverse student body in itself will lead to international-mindedness: it is more an advantage that should be acted upon with clear goals and objectives in mind."

Happily, if the responses to our 90-9-90 Project are anything to go by, it seems that Ecolint has been meeting this challenge up to now. And the Foundation will, of course, continue to strive for this as it heads towards its 100th anniversary.



>> For a closer look at our diverse community of alumni (which will grow even more diverse in future as our current students graduate) read more about the Alumnographic 2014.



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