When Eton College's headmaster Tony Little takes up his new global role with Dubai-based Gems Education, he will face a huge increase in the number of young minds he can influence. This is both a responsibility and an opportunity.
The responsibility will cover 140,000 students in 19 countries – including 11 schools in the UAE – compared to the mere 1,300 who attend Eton. The opportunity lies in precisely the scope and scale of Mr Little’s new challenge. He has long advocated teaching critical thinking rather than rote learning, a principle that chimes with the UAE’s evolving education philosophy.
While Mr Little’s appointment may seem like some stardust from the old world is being sprinkled on our shores, one could easily view it in an entirely different way. Namely that the dynamic and diverse education system that is emerging in this country is the new frontier for educationalists and has enviable pulling power.