HISTORIC Stonyhurst College is to open a new school in Malaysia.

Stonyhurst Penang International School will accommodate 1,200 students and will open in 2019.

The independent boarding school in the Ribble Valley is joining forces with the Penang State Government and Lasallian Asia Partnership for International Schools (LAPIS).

Bosses at the Jesuit school hope it will attract both international and Malaysian students, in line with the Penang State Government’s vision to develop Penang city as an education hub.

The school will accommodate up to 1,200 local and international pupils aged three to 18.

It will offer both a British curriculum to prepare students for entry into the best UK and international universities and some Malaysian subjects for local students.

John Browne, Stonyhurst headteacher, said, “Stonyhurst College was founded in 1593 and has a proud Jesuit heritage and culture.

“I am honoured and moved to be part of a new chapter in its history, by signing this agreement with Chief Minister (of Penang) Lim Guan Eng.

“The opening of the Stonyhurst College in Malaysia is an historic milestone for the school and one which I sincerely hope will benefit both the community of the school and the wider community around it.”

John Cowdall, chairman of the board of governors, said: “As chair of the board of governors, it gives me the most enormous pleasure to witness the signing of the agreement which will allow Stonyhurst College to have a presence in Malaysia.

“The board of governors has given this historic development a great deal of consideration and we are delighted to have reached this significant stage. We are all committed to seeing this extraordinary project come to fruition.”

Stonyhurst Penang will offer opportunities in music, art, drama and sports like rugby, hockey, and netball. It will also provide pastoral care to support students’ spiritual development

Michael Sng, director of LAPIS, said: “LAPIS is proud to build on its success with St Joseph’s Institution International School in Kuala Lumpur to form a partnership with Stonyhurst in Penang.

“This has tremendous potential as the state continues to successfully attract foreign investment.”