Int’l education institution explores Saipan for future investment


Officials of BE Education, one of the leading international educational institutions in the UK and China, were on a recent exploration visit to Saipan.

The visit of William Vanbergen, founder and chief executive officer of BE Education and Wycombe Abbey China and San Eng, founder and managing partner of Xcelerate, a China-based company engaged in development, investment and growth of lifestyle businesses, was upon the invitation of Imperial Pacific Holdings International.

The invitation from Imperial Pacific was an opportunity for BE Education to explore the island’s potential as a hub for international learning, by capitalizing on the island’s advantage and proximity within the Asia and the Pacific regions.

Vanbergen and Eng were on Saipan from Sept. 28 to 30. 

The visit comes on the heels of BE Education’s ongoing pursuit of establishing partnership with various educational institutions across the globe, as it continually set it sights toward providing its stakeholders world-class and leading-edge educational opportunities.

During their time spent on Saipan, Vanbergen and Eng were able to meet with leading educators and policymakers, and legislative leaders.

Onsite visits on various school campuses were also held separately.

Educational tourism
“We believe there could be real opportunity for the [CNMI] government to work with a top international education institution. We are here to capitalize on the wonderful environment and central Asia-Pacific location by building a world-class international school that would not only help attract top workers from overseas, but also open up a new industry in educational tourism that would bring benefits to the wider economy,” said Vanbergen, citing research on how foreign students help spur economic development.

“Research from the University of Maryland has shown that not only do foreign students bring benefits to the local economy in terms of tuition but they also contribute 2-4 times of tuition each year to the host economy through other spending,” Vanbergen notes.

BE Education officials’ visit highlights the growing demand for smoother educational pathways to higher learning institutions overseas. Vanbergen and Eng’s visit also mirrors a popular trend about parents and families who are seeking various pathways for their children to attend college overseas.

Founded in 2003, Vanbergen’s BE Education offers not only high class education but also affords its students with the opportunity to be accepted into the world’s leading schools and colleges through effective learning strategies. As a renowned forward thinker, Vanbergen has managed to build and develop his company into an award-winning full-range education consulting services provider.

Vanbergen is also responsible for the launch of Wycombe Abbey International Schools (WAIS) in China. WAIS is widely considered to be the best boarding school from the UK; each year, at least 50 percent of their graduates attend Oxbridge, Cambridge or an Ivy League school.

Eng is a shareholder and investor in BE Education. He is a veteran entrepreneur and investor from China and America. He has invested $500 million in cross-border projects primarily in consumer and technology spaces and his PE fund has been ranked a top 30 fund in China.  Eng is also an associate professor, teaching investments at Shanghai’s prestigious Jiaotong University.

Eng is particularly keen on investing and bringing to Saipan real estates linked to leisure, entertainment, education brands, and dreams of one day being a permanent resident of Saipan.

“Within a few days of meeting locals, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, and Americans, I quickly learned the huge business potential driven by Saipan’s unbeatable nature and ideal location to Asia, including tourism, and gaming. This is why we are making our third exploration trip here since July. We are looking to invest long-term projects such as real estate, entertainment concepts, healthcare, and education,” Eng pointed out.

He added, “This is also why I invited Mr. Vanbergen, the CEO of BE Education and one of the portfolio companies and the folds that operate Wycombe Abbey in China. As you know, Wycombe Abbey is the number one boarding school in the UK and we see Saipan as an ideal site to launch globally a top K-12 grade school to attract local residents, future residents, and kids seeking quality education in USA from China, Japan, Korea, and rest of Asia.”

Vanbergen and Eng also noted Saipan’s environment would be ideal to establish an international school because of its beauty and fresh air.

“Within 10 seconds of landing on Saipan, the endless blue-toned waters and crisp fresh air left me smitten. Saipan had stolen my heart.  We have been friends with executives from BSI for many years and we would like to thank them for introducing us to Saipan and their incredible hospitality,” Eng said.

Vanbergen agrees. “It was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful and friendly local people in Saipan over the past three days. Best Sunshine provided us excellent coordinators. We met some wonderful educators and government officials who were all supportive of the projects. We have high hopes to be able to move forward.  Our team [on] Saipan spent the next few days following up on discussions and we hope to be back soon. One again, I was impressed with the kindness and open hospitality shown to us by all the local people we met.” (PR)

Press Release
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