The Aga Khan Academies have hired Alison Hampshire, currently the Principal of Nexus International School Putrajaya in Malaysia, to lead their flagship Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.

The Aga Khan Academies are a growing network of international schools established by His Highness, the Aga Khan. Their mission is to develop the next generation of leaders of civil society and they operate a needs-blind admissions policy. Students are considered for places at the Academy based solely on their academic ability, regardless of their ability to pay school fees. Each Academy is an IB World School and will eventually offer the PYP, MYP and DP. However, despite their international outlook, they remain very much rooted in the culture and traditions of their host countries.

The Academy in Mombasa was the first Academy to open, and it is one of three currently open. The other two are in Hyderabad, India and Maputo, Mozambique. It is a three-programme IB School with around 700 students on the roll. Around half of the students in the Senior School are residential.

Society’s work on this assignment was led by Conor Wilson and Hannah Doughty. They looked globally for experienced administrators with strong IB credentials and a close affinity with the mission of the Aga Khan Academies and the wider AKDN.

Alison comes from the UK but has spent the past 14 years working in international schools in Hong Kong and Malaysia. In 2004, she joined ESF’s South Island School as Vice Principal, and in 2012 moved to Nexus International School Putrajaya, part of the Taylor’s Education Group, as Head of School. In many ways this will be a return to Africa for Alison, as her first international teaching post was in fact with the Bishop Mackenzie School in Malawi. Indeed, she would later go on to set up and run a small business importing curios from the continent to the UK.

Alison has particular strengths in curriculum development and teaching and learning, which she will bring to the Mombasa Academy.

Commenting on her new position, Alison said:

"I am delighted to be joining the Aga Khan Development Network and looking forward very much to leading the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. The role will bring new challenges as I work to support the development of the Academy to provide a world-class education for exceptional students from any background so that they can achieve their significant potential and in so doing improve their lives, the lives of their families, their communities, their country and the world."

On her experience of the recruitment process, she added:

"Thanks to Conor and Hannah at Society for their encouragement and support during the process. They were not only professional at every step of the journey but were good companions along the way. Thanks to the team at the Aga Khan Academies and the many people involved in speaking to me about the network and in the interview panels for giving me this opportunity."