Founder & Executive Director
MEd (Cantab), BEd (CUHK)
Melissa Lee is the founder of UK Education Garden, which offers excellent careers advice to international students. A dynamic and approachable individual with active listening and strong problem-solving skills, she helps students with their careers and academic development.
Melissa grew up in Hong Kong where the pursuit of excellence in education is inherent in the culture. It was therefore instilled in her to be passionate about lifelong learning.
She is an educator and mentor with over ten years' experience working in Hong Kong and Cambridge.
Being aware of, and adaptable to, the cultural sensitivities of working with international clients, Melissa is able to work with senior members of various institutions. She is an outstanding communicator and appreciates how to maintain professional confidentiality.
Dr. Irene Lau
Co-founder & CEO of Asia Pacific Region
Dr. Irene Lau is a seasoned educator with extensive international experience. She has been active in advocating sustainability and governance across government, business, NGOs and academia, with her prior engagement in both the public and private sectors, including time as Senior Consultant of New York State Trade and Investment Representative Office (China and Hong Kong) promoting trade and investment; Deputy Director of Executive Education in the Business School of the University of Hong Kong fostering global education; and Senior Director of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce shaping the business policy agenda.
Dr. Lau is passionate about driving social-economic improvements in society. She was bestowed the “Albert Schweitzer Medal of Honour in Humanity” in 2018 for enhancing social inclusion; received “The President’s Call to Service Award” in 2012, signed by President Obama in recognition of her community service which had led to the strengthening of the Nation; and the “World Outstanding Chinese Award” in 2008, for being a champion in providing educational opportunities for the underprivileged.
She holds professional qualifications as a Chartered Governance Professional (CGP), a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (FCIS), a Fellow of The International Institute of Management (FIIM) and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors (FHKIoD). Her postgraduate study was obtained from the University of Cambridge with research focus on sustainability and performance. She was the Ambassador of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership.
Dr. David Smith
Dr. David Smith is a highly qualified and experienced educationalist based in the United Kingdom. Having been a boarder at an all boy HMC school, David went on to study at four universities including Cambridge and London. His degrees include a Masters in International Education and a PhD Doctorate in Political History. David is a member of the London Livery Worshipful Company of Educators.
Over a 25 year career in education, David has taught History, been a Head of Department, Housemaster, Registrar, Head of International Recruitment and Deputy Headmaster in leading UK independent schools. With experience of teaching IGCSE, A Level and IB, leading Oxbridge preparation and interviewing, David has a detailed understanding of the UK education sector and can help you to select and apply to the right school for your child. With four children who have all been to independent schools and universities in the UK, David can advise both professionally and as a parent having faced the same questions that you are asking with informed and impartial advice about the best option for your child.
Working with UK, international and corporate clients, David can provide guidance to families at each stage of their child’s educational journey from prep to senior school and those relocating within or to the United Kingdom.
B Pharm (Hons), MRPharmS; RMA (Health & Social Care)
Anne is a working partner of UK Education Garden.
Her passion and experience in British education stems from bringing up her two children. She has researched '11 Plus Exams & How to Gain Entry into a Grammar School', 'How to Gain a Scholarship at a Private School', and ' How to Gain Entrance into Oxford & Cambridge Universities'.
Both her children gained scholarships throughout their secondary education at a private school and her older child gained an economics & management degree from Oxford university and her younger one a business degree from Bath University.
Anne has personal experience of spending 4 years at a boarding school when she arrived in England at 15 years of age and understands the cultural and language barriers children face when they land in a foreign country.
She believes that, as parents, we would all like our children to grow up to be independent, thriving adults and to be able to reach their full potential in whichever area that may be. She is a mentor and advisor to a group of Chinese University students from Hong Kong.
Anne has been in business both in pharmacy and healthcare for the past 20 years.
Sabine has over 15 years’ experience of working in education, from independent schools as Bursar and from running a very large and successful Language School in the city centre of Cambridge, working with education has been something very close to Sabine’s heart.
Sabine is passionate about education and ensuring everyone gets the absolute max out of education, She believes that good education provides children with a holistic learning experience and striking the right balance is important. Sabine knows from her own experience in school life that children learn better when they are happy with their environment, their learning is varied, and they have a good balance of academic and extracurricular activities. Having been surrounded by international environments her whole life, she believes in providing pupils with an all-round education, preparing them culturally as well as academically for a global community.
Sabine has experience in working with overseas parents looking for the right school for their child as well as working with schools who are looking for students that are the right fit for their school. Language Learning is very important to Sabine as she is German and went to boarding school with no prior English knowledge, so she understands the challenges from a student and parents’ point of view.
Dr. James Chu, CFA
Business Strategy & Financial Consultant
James received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in electronic engineering from The University of Birmingham. Since graduation, James has been working in the field of investments with several reputable firms including HSBC and American Express in UK. His roles often required good mathematical and analytical skills in making business decisions.
As a keen educator, James has kept teaching Business, Mathematics and Physical Sciences to people of different ages over the years. His teaching experience ranges from helping top primary school students on Mathematics to adults studying for degrees at higher education and professional qualifications. James has been recognised as an excellent trainer by clients and students with his approach in linking concepts in textbooks to real-life situations.
- B.A. Hons (York) Educational Studies
- M.Phil. (Cantab) Research in Second Language Education
- Pg.D.E. in Education (English Language and Literature)
- Former lecturer at City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Author of children’s picture books
Fang Cai, an associate professor and tutor for Masters students, majored in Anglo-American Literature at the Foreign Languages College of a Chinese university. She is also a PhD student in Comparative Literature and World Literature at the Faculty of Literature of this University. Currently she is engaged in literature research and thesis writing, travelling between China and the UK. From October 2013 to April 2014, she was a visiting academic scholar at the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 2007, she was an academic visitor for one month at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. In July 2006, she went to Australia for further education in teaching methodology. She has been teaching for 26 years and has rich experience in one-to-one instruction to Gaokao students. She is also very experienced at teaching undergraduates and postgraduates. The courses she taught at university include Anglo-American Literature, Western Cultural History, Survey of English-speaking Countries, Literary Criticism Theories, and English Audio-Visual,. She is keen on literature and writing and has published three monographs such as On the Edge of the Clouds: Cambridge Academic Visit Essays.
Because of her educational philosophy and successful guidance, her 19-year-old son is now a sophomore majoring in Psychology at the University of Adelaide in Australia where he also serves as a teaching assistant. Her son is also the youngest professional basketball player of Chinese-Descent in Australian basketball history after signing a contract with the Central District Lions of the Australian Basketball Association in April 2019. He is also the vice-captain of Basketball Team at the University of Adelaide. Her husband is a British engineer, who works for the Dutch company Philips. Based on the above experience, she has unique experience in studying and living in the UK and knows deeply the cultural differences between east and west. She communicates fluently in both English and Chinese and can coach students with a clear target.
I’m a Cambridge-based tutor of English Language and French at GCSE, IGCSE, International Baccalaureate and A Level. I also tutor Italian up to GCSE/IGCSE level, in addition to coaching public speaking at the University of Cambridge and international etiquette and protocol to private and corporate clients. A graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics and a former overseas exchange student during my BA, I am well-attuned to the needs and expectations of international students in the UK. As a lifelong learner, currently studying and taking exams in my eighth language, Arabic, I really understand the process from the learner’s perspective.
I have 22 years' classroom experience as a qualified teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and was previously assistant guardian to 40 Japanese students in British boarding schools, helping them to make sense of the UK secondary system and daily British life. Since 2008, I’ve taught Academic English to international students at British universities. I’m always thrilled to see my students of all ages develop in confidence and ability during our time together, and work closely with parents, advisors and guardians to ensure that our objectives are clear and achievable.
Solicitor - Partner
Commercial and Residential Property, Immigration Law and Licensing
Background and Experience
Andy is a partner and head of Real Estate and Property Department. Andy undertakes all work in his practice areas but is primarily instructed on high value commercial property development transactions and complex immigration appeal cases. Andy is also a licensing law specialist. He has vast experience acting for clients in the UK and from overseas, particularly high net-worth individuals from China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Andy also advises Oriental clients on cross-border commercial and investment projects as well as personal and corporate immigration matters.
Andy is a dedicated solicitor and is highly regarded for providing his clients with high quality and efficient solutions, and always puts great effort into every matter that he is instructed on.
Andy qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese and English. He also runs a charitable organisation in Harlow.
Dr Shin Liang Chin
Cambridge Consultant (Science)
Shin Liang Chin graduated with a Phd degree in physics from the University of Cambridge. Upon graduation he continued to work as a post-doc at the university's famous Cavendish Laboratory, which gave birth to 29 Nobel prize winners. His expertise is in condensed matter physics, specialising in the fabrication and characterisation of sub-micron magnetic materials. He has published numerous articles and made presentations at major international conferences. He also led EU-wide research in materials for next generation data storage devices.
He left the university in 2016 and has continued his research in the private sector. More recently he has engaged himself in applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimise manufacturing processes, root-cause analysis, and predictive analytics. He is still active in teaching physics and mathematics, while being a very accomplished debater at the same time.
Kieron is currently studying Medicine at Imperial College London, having left The Perse School Cambridge with 3A* at A-level and 12A* at IGCSE/GCSE level. Since joining The Perse aged 4, he has cultivated a drive for success, perseverance and lifelong learning, core aspects of his life which he wishes to share with all the students of UK Education Garden. With his excellent organisation skills, he balances medical school, sport and societies while also allowing time for independent research.
Kieron’s completion of a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification, appointment as a Biology Prefect, and selection as a science mentor for primary school children, have given him years of teaching experience. Regarded by his peers and tutors as a friendly, approachable and patient person, Kieron is always happy to help, ensuring each student can fulfil their potential. He strives to help them achieve their aims and ambitions as he works closely with the students themselves as well as their parents and guardians.
During his free time Kieron likes to go for walks in Hyde Park and enjoys volunteering in local events. On completion of his medical degree he wishes to pursue a career as a surgeon.
Cambridge Progression Coach
Leo is a gap year student who currently resides in Cambridge. He is an extremely diligent individual with excellent time management and problem-solving skills, which have helped him achieve top grades at many prestigious institutions.
At the Perse School Cambridge he achieved 11 A*s at GCSE, followed by 4 A*s at A Level at Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge. Having spent a year at Imperial College School of Medicine, Leo is currently taking a year out of his studies to help younger students achieve their goals with UK Education Garden and build up his skill base further before recommencing his studies next year.
Born to native Chinese parents, Leo grew up in Cambridge and spent much of his childhood immersed in two different cultures simultaneously, picking up how to speak Mandarin Chinese as well as acquainting himself with the ins and outs of English society. As a result, he is very familiar with the education system and is held in high regard by students and teachers alike due to his years of experience and outstanding achievements.
Xuanyu is a PhD student in the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge and a member of Darwin College. Upon obtaining his BEng degree in China, Xuanyu was awarded the Marie-Curie fellowship from the European Commission to conduct his doctoral research at the Geotechnical Research Group at the University of Cambridge. His research involves developing advanced numerical software for modelling soil-water interactions, the understanding of which is crucial within the field of geotechnical engineering.
During his time in Cambridge, Xuanyu has also given supervisions to both graduates and undergraduates at the Engineering Department. He also received a secondment to Deltares, a major Dutch technological institute that enjoys high international prestige. Through working in the Netherlands with Deltares for 18 months, Xuanyu was able to develop close contact with industry professionals there. Thanks to his multicultural experience, he has developed a deeper understanding of people from different countries on their education systems, lifestyles and professional life.
Science and Engineering Coach
Xuan Li was a consultancy analyst based in Cambridge, UK. She has a diverse education background and working experience in different countries. During her undergraduate study, she spent half a year in University College London (UCL) and was a research assistant in a wastewater treatment project. Afterwards, she earned her master’s degree from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Xuan also worked as a consultancy analyst in Cambridge, water researcher in the Netherlands and civil drainage engineer in a municipal research institute in China.
Over the previous years of education, Xuan has obtained experience in supervising and interacting with students as an English teacher. She not only guides student academic study but also helps them enjoy the process of study and build up their confidence and interest. Thanks to the multi-culture education and working experience, she has developed a better understanding of knowledge learning and practical application.
Alex is currently studying medicine at Cardiff University. He moved to the UK 12 years ago from mainland China, so he is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Since moving to the UK, Alex has fully immersed himself in British culture, making many friends of all ethnicities and backgrounds. During university, he has learnt to fully embrace his Chinese heritage, through being on committees for cultural societies like ABACUS (Association of British and Chinese University Students), and CHIPS (Cardiff Healthcare International Perspective – a society for international students who study healthcare-related courses). These roles have given him the opportunity to mix with students from all over the world, allowing him to gain an insight into studying in the UK from an international student’s perspective.
During medical school, Alex has also developed an interest in teaching/mentoring. He has taken up as many opportunities as possible to participate in and organise revision sessions for junior medical students, as well as helping students from state schools with their medical school applications. Outside academic life, he enjoys playing badminton, running and hiking.
Alex feels that he is an enthusiastic and approachable individual with a strong and growing interest in Asian culture – he could see myself potentially working in Hong Kong/Singapore in the future. Having many international friends at University, and given his own ethnic background, Alex can really empathise with international students due to the many challenges they face whilst studying in the UK, particularly in relation to adapting to British culture and lifestyle. He hopes to help as many of them as he can in the future.
Sam is currently a finalist studying History at the University of Oxford, although he has also taken modules in Economics in his first year, having studied Maths, History and Economics at A-Level. Having tutored regularly both in and since leaving school he has significant experience working with students across GCSE and A-Level. He thoroughly believes that students can always improve and achieve top grades whatever their original ability, but this is reliant on them being comfortable and being able to express themselves. Sam has also worked with young people for many years and is considered to be very friendly and good at making students feel comfortable in their studies, whilst also pushing them on to achieve their best.
During his free time, Sam enjoys playing sport, engaging with current affairs and reading novels. He also visits the Oxford Union when he can.