High School Principal at United Nations International School of Hanoi in Vietnam
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High School Principal
United Nations International School of Hanoi (Vietnam)

Appointed - Position has been filled
Aug 29, 2016
Sep 18, 2016

The United Nations International School of Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

seeks a

High School Principal

Effective late July 2017


The United Nations International School of Hanoi would like to announce an attractive career opportunity for candidates with the right background who are interested in pursuing a principalship at the high school level.   It is a wonderful time to be in Vietnam in this period of economic growth and development. It is an even better time to be in Hanoi where the celebration of its 1,000th anniversary was marked in 2010 by amazing modernization while it retains the charm and allure of the Southeast Asia of old. UNIS Hanoi has evolved into an outstanding international school with a beautiful campus to match its high quality programme.


The School

The United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) was established in 1988 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Vietnamese Government represented by the Ministry of Education. The VN government continues to honor the MoU and the implied special status that UNIS enjoys in Vietnam as a result of the acknowledged unique relationship between the school and the UN here in Hanoi.  And the Vietnamese Government is proud of UNIS Hanoi and views it as an exemplary model for all international schools in Vietnam as well as a model for its own K-12 schools.


The school has grown from 12 students to over 1100 students in the last 29 years.  UN children make up 10% of our student population, diplomatic children make up 20%, and the remaining 68% are NGO, business and host country children from both the business and government sectors.  Through the school diversity policy, no nationality can exceed 20% of the student population in any grade level.  The three highest nationalities are Vietnamese, Korean and American, all at around 15%.


Sixty-three nationalities make up a diverse student body from early childhood to grade 12.  The school has been accredited by Council of International Schools (CIS)/New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1999 and just recently received re-accreditation in from CIS/Western Association of Schools and Colleges. UNIS Hanoi was the first school in Asia to be fully authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer all three IB programs: Primary Years (PYP), Middle Years (MYP) and Diploma (DP).


The High School


1.      Organizational Structure


The HS Principal manages a full supporting cast of professionals including a full time Deputy Principal, 2.5 HS Counselors, an IB DP Coordinator and an MYP Coordinator.  There are seven Heads of Departments and four Grade Level Coordinators and these are all stipended positions.


2.      Students


The High School has an enrollment of 314 students in the HS.  Students come from forty one different countries and as they graduate, they seek admission to universities from around the world.  There is an atmosphere of mutual support as faculty and students work to help students achieve their maximum potential in all aspects of their lives.


3.      Curriculum


The curriculum has been developed to the highest international school standards and driven by the IB Diploma program in grades 11/12.  Grades 6-10 have adopted the MYP as its pedagogical approach and at the same time the school has worked to develop a strong Middle School ethos for students in grades 6-8. Beginning next year, there will be a separate Middle School Principal. The whole school (Discovery- 12) has embarked on the development of a standards and benchmarks-based fully articulated curriculum with a focus on student learning.


There are high expectations for students and a strong work ethic within the student body is in evidence.  Students are encouraged to go for the full IB diploma and provided with as much support as possible to be successful.  Over the last few years, 88% of the grade 12 students were full IB diploma candidates and of those, almost 96% achieved the full IB diploma.


UNIS Hanoi has a fully-staffed English as an Additional Language (EAL) program for those students who are in need of English language support.  There is also a Learning Support program for students with mild special learning needs.


The emphasis on the use of technology is profound.  All students in grades 4-12 are provided with a tablet PC upon entry to the school as the school promotes an ubiquitous environment and prepares students for the digital world.


4.      Faculty


There are 66 faculty (40.5 FTE), 9 teaching assistants (4.5 FTE) in the High School.  Middle School and High School also share 10 local support staff. UNIS Hanoi manages to attract and retain some of the best international educators from around the world.  The school is an established and well-respected international school in Vietnam, in the region, and around the world.  Students are admitted to the best universities worldwide, consistently score above the world averages on the IB Diploma examinations and the International Schools Assessment based on the PISA Testing Program.  This is primarily due to the hard work of the students, strong support from parents, and the outstanding faculty.  A constant theme among UNIS Hanoi teachers is their strong belief in the UN principles and the attraction of being in a school that works hard to actualize these principles every day with students.  Thus the school’s strong and close relationship with the UN is a crucial aspect of our recruiting strategy to attract and retain the best faculty available internationally.


5.      Co-Curricular Activities


For co-curricular activities, the school is a founding member of the Mekong River International Schools Association (MRISA), and is a member of the Asia Pacific Activities Conference (APAC).  The school is actively involved in Model United Nations, hosting its own conference as well as participating in the MUN conference in Singapore. There are a significant number of additional co-curricular activities for students before and after school, and on weekends.


6.      Service learning


While the school is proud of its academic and co-curricular achievements, it is equally proud of its record of service in the community.  Over 1,500 students, faculty, staff and community members performed over 20,000 hours of community service impacting over 3,000 Vietnamese children and families last school year.  What is most important about this is the learning that the students take away from these experiences.  Our vision is that the notion of “doing for others” becomes as natural for our students as waking up in the morning and having breakfast – it is simply what you do as a human being on this planet.


7.      Facilities


The school started with four borrowed classrooms housed in a local Vietnamese school for four years before moving into its own campus in the diplomatic compound of Van Phuc in 1992.  It remained in the diplomatic compound area for 12 years before relocating in September 2004 to its present campus, a purpose-built, state-of-the-art campus in the Tay Ho District. The 9.2 hectare site is located within a new international community development, six kilometres north of the centre of Hanoi.  Its spacious grounds and quiet surroundings offer an inviting learning environment and top quality facilities. The school has begun a four-year campus development project to enhance school facilities and better support its programme. High School enrollment is currently 314 students with the capacity of around 360.



The Position


The High School Principal serves as the educational and administrative leader of the High School and has responsibility for all activities involving students and faculty in the High School.  The HS Principal ensures that all programs and practices of faculty and staff support the School’s Mission and that all students, on a day-to-day basis, are provided with an outstanding educational program.

Primary Responsibilities

  •  Establishes a culture of accountability and high expectations
  • Provides sound educational leadership and implements professional growth programs for faculty and support staff, ensuring that all teachers and support staff have a clear understanding of their performance expectations
  • Helps faculty to implement the UNIS Hanoi Teacher Competencies
  • Communicates effectively with students, faculty, parents, and colleagues as well as in the community. The Principal is expected successfully communicate to all constituent groups including a diverse parent community
  • Assumes responsibility for budget management including accurate program budget planning and fiscal accountability, ensuring that all the school’s resources are identified and being used to target school goals
  • As a committed lifelong learner, acts as a role model by undertaking continuing professional learning and professional growth
  • Demonstrates the ability to function effectively as a team player and collaborative partner
  • Performs such other duties and responsibilities as delegated by the Head of School.


Qualification Requirements



  • M.A./M.Ed./M.Sc. degree or equivalent
  • Principal’s training supported by a national or internationally recognized system of certification
  • Experience and a thorough understanding of the IB Diploma Programme and IB Middle Years Programme
  • Experience as an effective high school principal
  • Exceptional interpersonal, leadership and communication skills



  • Demonstrated knowledge and strong experience in technology and its integration with the school program
  • Successful teaching experience


Salary and Benefits


The salary will be competitive with other high quality international schools in East Asia and commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Application Procedure

Candidates must include the following in their application:

A cover letter which will include the following:

  • Reasons why the candidate is interested in the position
  • Strengths, competencies and experiences the candidate brings to the position which makes for a strong candidacy


- A full CV which includes

  • A description of all educational degrees, certificates and training
  • All work experience by date
  • A list of referees to include supervisors from the last three positions.  This list should include current email address, and work and/or home and mobile phone numbers of each referee.


Applications are submitted online at www.unishanoi.org/jobs.


Deadline for receipt of the full application online is 18 September 2016.


Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website. 

Did You Know…?

CEO of Search Associates, Jessica Magagna, was born in Morocco and attended the American Community School in Iran while her father was headmaster.