As Asia’s world city, Hong Kong is home to numerous nationalities and cultures and this is very much reflected within its education community. With the recent influx of international schools in Hong Kong, parents are now presented with more school choices than ever and as a result, have genuine alternatives available to them rather than automatically seeking education overseas. Hong Kong international schools tend to take the best of East and West, with a focus on creativity and innovation running alongside a commitment to excellent grades.
Alongside local schools (in all their guises) Hong Kong is home to schools that originate from all over the globe, offering curricula that includes North American, Canadian, German, French, Japanese, Korean, IB and British. It is the British schools that have seen a recent upsurge in numbers, with international versions of top UK schools making inroads into Hong Kong and just over the border in Shenzhen and Zhuhai.
Despite the number of new schools opening, turning up in Hong Kong and expecting to land an international school place is unrealistic and ill-advised. Finding the right school for you and your child can often be tricky and rather confusing. With such a variety of international curricula on offer, high-tech facilities, and excellent exam results, making that final decision can often be a difficult one. Unlike the UK, to secure your child a place at a school in Hong Kong, you may be asked to pay a large ‘debenture’. The size of these vary from school to school and family to family. Each school operates a waiting list and depending on where you are on this list, you may or may not need to purchase a debenture. Every school will have its own specific entry requirements with some being far more selective than others. The demographic for Hong Kong international schools can be rather varying with some being more international than others. Location also plays a big part in this. If you are coming from China and your child is boarding, you may wish to be near the airport or Shenzhen border. Those schools based on Hong Kong island will have more local Hong Kong and expat families. The ‘language of the playground’ is one of our key benchmarks.
University destinations are also an important factor when choosing the right international school for your child. The age-old debate of UK vs US universities will continue for years to come and is ever (even) more relevant when living outside of these countries. Although a number of international schools offer clear British or American programmes, many other schools offer a combination or the International Baccalaureate. There is no right choice apart from the right choice for your child. With support and guidance, an international school education will provide your child with the tools and support to enter top universities worldwide.
For families moving to Hong Kong there are plenty of options but waitlists, application deadlines, debentures and demographic differences mean that it is a daunting task to undertake from a distance. Local, unbiased, knowledge goes a long way.
If you are interested in learning more about our Hong Kong School Consultancy Services, please complete the form below or send us an email and we will arrange an introductory meeting with the best suited consultant for your family.
Contact us ▸
“My daughter has an excellent working relationship with Juliet. Juliet is patient but firm and my daughter needed and certainly appreciated Juliet’s structured and methodical approach.”
– Pupil at Hong Kong International School