One of Britain’s oldest Catholic schools has announced a record number of enrollments this year, beating downward trends for independent schools nationwide.

The strong presence of international students among the new cohort of students at Stonyhurst illustrates the increasingly global character of the centennial college.

Of the more than 800 students joining Stonyhurst this year, almost a third are international students, from 27 different countries in Europe, America and Asia. This rate is more than six times higher than the UK independent school average, with the most recent poll indicating that 4.6 percent of the total student body attending said schools are considered international students.

The continued increase in the number of international students – even with boarding fees for non-UK students approaching £ 40,000 per year – reflects Stonyhurst’s increasingly global orientation.

An international “sister school” of Stonyhurst in Penang, Indonesia – Stonyhurst Penang – was announced in 2017 and is currently under construction.

British boarding schools, plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, continue to be favored by international students, especially those from China and Hong Kong.

In a press release, the school specifies that the international character of the student population gives it a “richness of cultural diversity”, which makes it a “welcoming school” for students from very different backgrounds.

Stonyhurst achieved good academic results in recent years, with 81% of students scoring B or higher in their 2021 A levels, and 55% scoring an A or A *. Students at Stonyhurst also performed well in the International Baccalaureate (IB) global rankings, with a diploma program pass rate of 100 percent compared to a world average of 85 percent.

Stonyhurst is one of the UK’s best-known Catholic educational institutions, with graduates ranging from author Arthur Conan Doyle to comedian Chris Morris. JRR Tolkien wrote much of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy in a guesthouse on the school grounds, and the Lancashire College has a formidable collection of relics.

A fAffiliated with the Jesuits throughout its 428 year history, the school has grown into a secular leadership in recent decades, with the first non-Jesuit director, Giles Mercer, taking the post in 1985.

(The tablet contacted other Catholic schools, but none of the ones we tried were ready to comment.)


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