Dulwich London takes tough stance in talks

BANGKOK: The Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Dulwich International College (DIC) today lifted the lid on negotiations between his organization and Dulwich College in London, at which attempts are being made to heal a major rift between the two sides.

At stake in the talks is whether DIC will be allowed to continue using the Dulwich name.

In a letter emailed to parents and teachers, Dr Arthit Ourairat laid out the bleak choices he says Dulwich London is offering in talks in Bangkok.

The negotiations involve himself, Dulwich London Deputy Master Ralph Mainard, putative DIC headmaster Dr George Hickman, DIC Chief Financial Officer Pitawas Indharameesup and Laguna Joint Managing Director James Batt, who is acting as mediator.

The choices Dr Arthit says Dulwich London is offering indicate that the London school is taking a very tough line in the talks. The choices are:

* DIC severs ties with Dulwich London.

* DIC rents out the buildings and ground to outside investors who will operate the school.

* DIC sells the buildings and ground to outside investors.

* DIC allows a company called Global Educational Information Consulting Co (GEICC) from the People’s Republic of China to manage all academic and non-academic operations of the school.

In the past year, GEICC has opened two schools in China, in Beijing and Shanghai, in collaboration with Thai conglomerate Saha Union, and Dulwich London.

Saha Union is headed by former Thai Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun, himself an alumnus of Dulwich College in London.

“We understand GEICC would be given responsibility for all areas, including recruitment and selection of teachers and staffs, a flexibility that we are currently asking [for] from [Dulwich London],” Dr Arthit wrote.

“GEICC will perform this service for a fee, possibly a percentage of revenue and/or profit. Dulwich London will continue to get its royalty payment from the school.”

Dr Arthit continued, “Mr Mainard asked me whether a presentation by a member of GEICC would be useful, and I agreed to have him received at Rangsit University.

“Incidentally,” he added, “you may have noticed that the option missing from the list above is the option of working together. This option would have included ways in which our two institutions can function together as in any normal relationship between a franchiser and a franchisee, where a certain degree of flexibility is allowed.

“Unfortunately, this option, as proposed by our side several times, has been continuously ignored.”

Mr Mainard could not be reached for comment on progress in the talks or on Dr Arthit’s interpretation of the current situation.

Phuket News

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