International Schools in Hong Kong vary in curriculum and teaching style making it accommodating for most expat families. Most international schools use an English-based curriculum which can be divided into the British, American, Canadian and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.
Curricula at International Schools in Hong Kong
The majority of international schools in Hong Kong are using International Baccalaureate. Many schools identify with a particular country (such as Singapore, Canada or France) and offer separate English and foreign-language sections. An increasing number of schools offer their students to study Mandarin Chinese, reflecting Mandarin’s growing influence in Hong Kong. This can be extremely beneficial to expat children in international schools as it serves as a strong competitive advantage when applying for third-level education, and especially when applying for jobs in Hong Kong or Mainland China.
International Schools in Hong Kong tend to be very competitive and waiting lists can often reach just below 100 students per grade. Tuition for International School can be as high as almost HK$200,000 a year (for senior year). This may be a negotiating point when taking an expat package from an international employer – getting a place at a top international school in Hong Kong would be a significant financial benefit.
Applications to International Schools in Hong Kong
Applications to International Schools should ideally be submitted as early as possible, preferable a year before matriculation, and usually in autumn. Some schools will ask for a reservation fee from expat families (which is normally refundable) and can he as high as 50% of the annual tuition, it is also common with smaller non-refundable application fees.
The most competitive schools often sell monetary “debentures” that give priority in the admissions process. Debentures can be issued to an individual or to a corporation to help secure. The debentures are used as capital to fund school maintenance and are reimbursed, without interest, after the child leaves the school. Schools usually cap the number of debentures they issue a year. There is however no guarantee that the expat child will be accepted.
Here is a list of some of the private international schools in Hong Kong. For a complete overview please refer to the Government Education services web page www.edb.gov.hk.