Arnett Edwards: An Embodiment Personality of “Never Give Up”
Arnett Edwards
  1. Kindly brief us in short about you and your journey since the beginning of your career. Tell us about your academic and professional milestones. Let us know about the major achievements, accolades and recognitions that you have earned in your entire career so far. 

I do not see my life and my journey as Principal as a series of academic and professional milestones. The journey that I have had really comes from the many positive interactions that I have had with young people, educators and external supporters who inspire you to do more.  Being involved in education is such a privilege as you can have a positive effect on the attitude, values and skills and knowledge that young people acquire. This comes with a huge responsibility.

  1. Being a prominent education leader, what are the most significant contributions you have made for the promotion of education in the society, development of the educational structure in the country?

I would not like to say that I am prominent. I am fortunate to be leading a quite amazing and special school with a very clear mission focused on “peace and sustainable future”. My role is really to try to bring a range of different stakeholders together around this mission, whether they are students, staff, external supporters (supporters and donors) or parents.

  1. In short, tell us about your organization, its distinct academic solutions, achievements, and mission, and vision.

I am currently Principal at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (LPCUWC). The college is one of eighteen schools and colleges which make up the United World College (UWC) Movement. The schools and colleges have a very clear mission: “UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” At LPCUWC, we bring young people from over eighty different countries aged sixteen to nineteen and work with them to consider how they are going to positively impact the world. The College therefore does not have the relatively narrow focus of IB Diploma results or University destinations (though the positive bi-product is that the college achieves excellent IB Diploma results and students attend outstanding universities).

  1. What were the major challenges that you have faced in your career and what are the difficulties you have faced while promoting literacy and cause educational development?

My greatest challenge was getting my first teaching position. I trained in History and went to seven different interviews and was rejected seven times. The theme of the rejection was that “I looked too young…we cannot imagine you in front of a class.” Fortunately, I was able to finally get a position teaching Economics and History. The moral of the story is never to give up on something you believe in.

  1. How do you keep yourself motivated and how do you inspire your students to take an interesting career and be the nation’s next bright future building figures?

Young people keep you motivated. There is nothing better than sitting at a dining room table with a group of students to hear about their views on the world and how they believe they can make a difference.

  1. Being in the industry for a long time, enlighten us with the educational scenario of China and the ever-changing education sector.

I do believe that in China there is increasingly a desire for a more holistic view of education.  Education for the whole-person rather than just academics.

  1. What message would you address to the students of the nation and the rest of the world?

I recently came across this book by David Brooks, “The Road to Character”. An important question he raises: “Am I living for my résumé or my eulogy?” Life is so much more than a list of achievements. It is about how you live your life for the betterment of the world we live in.

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