The Bridge between Mongolia and the World; the Empathy Schools


By: Mehmet Elci

For many of different walks in life, those around the world, and for different systems and organizations, one of the most important topics discussed is quite often, education.

This has been the case with Mongolia and Turkey since days of old. Throughout history, the two have lived in close proximity to one another and currently have become closer through Empathy Schools established by Turkish and Mongolian investors living in Mongolia.

Empathy Schools were first founded in 1994 as part of a series of memorandum of agreements between an independent educational company (Empathy) and the Ministry of Education of Mongolia. Within the laws and regulations of Mongolia, the Empathy education system contribute to the existing education systems and culture while additionally training students to develop globalized perceptions and values.

The educational guidelines for Empathy Schools are as follows:

-No ideological, political, or religious polarization

-No discrimination by religion, language or race; accepting all as equal

-Employees to follow basic moral principles such as honesty, compassion, kindness, love, respect, loyalty, trustworthiness, tolerance and modesty as a foundation

-To participate in good deeds and charity events

-To see the education and training activities as service to humanity, not as means for profit.

To date, the Empathy School system includes four Empathy High Schools in different cities and the Ullaanbaatar Elite International School (K-12).

Empathy High Schools

With the status of being science high schools, Empathy Schools embarked their teaching programs 1994, in Ulaanbaatar (Bayan-Ulgii, Darkhan), and 1999, in Orkhon.

And as a result of quality teaching ambitious student work ethic, and through the support of the parent-teacher association and school’s valuable statesman, Empathy high schools have become very successful—well-known around society for providing insightful education to students.

All lessons are taught in English and Mongolian. Turkish is currently being taught as a second language. Textbooks and other educational supplies are obtained from Europe. More than 4000 students have graudated from these schools and most have continued to higher education overseas (in 44 different countries such as, the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea; almost 100 graduates are in Korea).

Ulaanbaatar Elite International School (UEIS)


The student body of the UEIS is composed of 17 different nationalities. Lessons are given in English while Korea, Turkish, Russian, Germany, Chinese, French, and Japanese courses are offered as foreign languages. UEIS is a member of many International school associations such as ECIS (the Educational Collaborative for International Schools), COBIS (Council of British International Schools), and IB (International Baccalaureate).

The school is truly international with its global curriculum and diverse staff. The international experience (resources, activities, and programs) is provided to students who are able to think beyond their own environment when approaching various situations and issues. The teacher and student school body mirrors a microcosm of the global community at large.

At this school, students are given the extraordinary opportunity of developing global perspectives and creating intercultural connections by learning of different cultures and languages. Teachers are all native speakers/professional of their respective languages and field of study. The educational system is supplemented by boarding school education in which students are able to study in a safe and healthy environment. Ulaanbaatar Elite International School has been awarded “International Centre” status by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Cambridge Diploma Program.

Since establishment, the school has operated according to curriculum rules of Mongolia’s Ministry of Education. At the same time, UEIS has strived to be aware of global development of knowledge and technology—the adoption of changes and the results of such integration. Great emphasis is placed on English as a medium of instruction for science subjects, also because of UEIS’s global outlook.

They not only impart an education at the highest level of quality, but also provide quality, unbiased education in the fields of social relations and human values such as peace and harmony. .

The success of Empathy Schools is largely due to the unity, motivation, sacrifice, and ambition seen amongst teachers and students. Graduates are keen on using the lessons they learned in school in their future learning/working hours and become role models to students currently enrolled.

Students of Empathy Schools do exceptionally on tests and contests held at the national level and international Olympiads held at various times of the year. Many students hold national titles and carry personal medals of achievement. The total number of such medals across the student body reaches almost 1000. Mongolia’s Ministry of Education has acknowledge Empthy Schools as some of the best in the country and have awarded the schools “Best School of Mongolia” for the past four years. Internationally, the schools are also recognized for excellent education. Quite naturally, the Mongolian public have become attracted to these schools and Mongolian and Turkish governors frequent visits to the schools. Each year, almost 5000 applicants submit their document to the schools when there are only around 300 student openings.

Not only are these schools acting as the bridge to Mongolian and Turkish society, they are also bridging Mongolia to the rest of the world. Graduates disperse globally and have created a social network of communication and higher education in politics, trade, art, and education.


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