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History of Witan Hall

Witan Hall was founded in April 1989 as Gyosei International College in the UK on its London Road campus in Reading.

The origins of the College go back to 1881, when Gyosei High School was founded in Tsukiji in Tokyo by French and American missionaries belonging to the educational Order of St Mary. It later moved to its present location in Kudan in Tokyo and, in 1979, set up the Gyosei International Senior High School in Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture with the aim of offering an education for Japanese boys and girls who had returned to Japan with their parents after a period overseas. This was followed in 1981 by the establishment of the Gyosei International Junior High School on the same site. In 1984 these two schools were re-established as a separate entity.

The idea of "an international college as an extension of the Gyosei International High School" had been in the minds of those involved, especially Father Shigeru Tagawa, the school's Principal, ever since the latter was founded. With the establishment of Gyosei International College in the UK this dream was finally realized. Financial support was provided by the Chairman of the College's Board of Trustees and former President of the Japan Junior Chamber of Commerce, Dr Takashi Nozu. In April 1987 a committee was set up to prepare for the College's establishment, and in November 1988 the College was officially recognized by the Department of Education. With a view to opening in April 1989 preparations continued.

The College accepted its first intake (of 40 Business Studies students) in April 1989 and doubled this (to 80 Business Studies and Culture Studies students - including autumn-term entrants) the following year. To mark the occasion the College held its official opening ceremony on May 19, 1990. Then in 1993 a new two-year British Studies course was launched by the Language Department.

In 1994 Gyosei International College established its BA programme, offering degrees validated by City University, London; and in 2001 the first students were accepted onto the College's new MA degree programme, also validated by City University.

In July 2002 the College officially changed its name to Witan Hall (incorporating Gyosei International College in the UK).