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Education Bureau slammed for allowing Hong Kong’s private schools to charge millions for priority enrolment

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  1. #1

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    Education Bureau slammed for allowing Hong Kong’s private schools to charge millions for priority enrolment


  2. #2

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    It's about time they look at this.

    The whole debenture and capital levy system sucks majorly.

    HK's approach is particularly insidious as there are few school options for foreign kids without local language skills so you either cough up the debenture money or sling your hook.

    The school my daughter went to for primary school in Kowloon Tong here introduced debentures the year after she started.

    Now that she's off to secondary school, we declined to pay the equivalent of £50,000 pounds as a debenture fee simply for her to go from primary to secondary school in the same place.

    Singapore awaits instead.

    As do a number of other countries with more competitive schools and less dramatic requirements for school admissions.

    Here's hoping that something positive comes out of this government review into these 'extracurricular' school fees.

    The days of school corporate debentures being provided by large corporations to a dwindling pool of 'expats/economic migrants' with no/limited local language skills and above average pay are becoming a faint memory in Hong Kong.

    HK schools should take note.


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaD_LaLa
    It's about time they look at this.

    The whole debenture and capital levy system sucks majorly.

    HK's approach is particularly insidious as there are few school options for foreign kids without local language skills so you either cough up the debenture money or sling your hook.

    The school my daughter went to for primary school in Kowloon Tong here introduced debentures the year after she started.

    Now that she's off to secondary school, we declined to pay the equivalent of £50,000 pounds as a debenture fee simply for her to go from primary to secondary school in the same place.

    Singapore awaits instead.

    As do a number of other countries with more competitive schools and less dramatic requirements for school admissions.

    Here's hoping that something positive comes out of this government review into these 'extracurricular' school fees.

    The days of school corporate debentures being provided by large corporations to a dwindling pool of 'expats/economic migrants' with no/limited local language skills and above average pay are becoming a faint memory in Hong Kong.

    HK schools should take note.
    Good points. It is actually going to deter HK from attracting foreign talent, and a lot of the younger expats will leave once they decide to have kids because of the cost of education here.

  4. #4

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    We can complain, but hk is a capitalistic society, and these schools are there to survive economically without government subsidy...
    its simple, if they can't get that free/cheap loan via debenture, then they have to price in their interest cost (i assuming for the school property they using) into the school fees, and raise the fees.

    What will happen when the fee control and regulation starts kicking in ? The famous ones will just get regulatory approval to do it, those that cant do it will eventually have to close their door (assuming they are unable to hike fees) and you will get more competition for the lessor spaces in the private schools..

    And don't forget, rental in hk is the highest in the world.. and i don't think so far anyone is using private school to cream money excessively (easier to punt property than to run a school if profit is all that is needed).

    Fairly simple economics..


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeier
    We can complain, but hk is a capitalistic society, and these schools are there to survive economically without government subsidy...
    its simple, if they can't get that free/cheap loan via debenture, then they have to price in their interest cost (i assuming for the school property they using) into the school fees, and raise the fees.

    What will happen when the fee control and regulation starts kicking in ? The famous ones will just get regulatory approval to do it, those that cant do it will eventually have to close their door (assuming they are unable to hike fees) and you will get more competition for the lessor spaces in the private schools..

    And don't forget, rental in hk is the highest in the world.. and i don't think so far anyone is using private school to cream money excessively (easier to punt property than to run a school if profit is all that is needed).

    Fairly simple economics..
    Oh don't you worry, the international schools here are smarter than you think, they can get around any ban on debentures. There are various "annual fund" or "contributory fund" that is compulsory in all but name for parents each year. And that sure hits the pocketbook of parents. They can squeeze parents in many other ways, trust me.

    The problem therefore remains, affordable quality education is still a pipe dream for many HKers.
    hongkong7 and junichitsuyo like this.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeier
    We can complain, but hk is a capitalistic society, and these schools are there to survive economically without government subsidy... .
    Hahahahahahahahaha. Do they pay commercial rents then?

  7. #7

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    This is just one of the many many `deep rooted problems`.

    rent control is next...

    TaD_LaLa likes this.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paxbritannia
    Good points. It is actually going to deter HK from attracting foreign talent, and a lot of the younger expats will leave once they decide to have kids because of the cost of education here.
    It is common. Many friends of ours who had kids around the same time have left or are leaving in the next year or two to avoid multiple international school tuitions to pay.

    Private schools in other countries raise money through parent and alumni contributions. Debentures and capital levies for enrolled families are deeply unfair, particularly as you'll have different groups paying different amounts depending on when admitted. If you can't finance your new rock climbing wall without debentures then you don't get a bloody rock climbing wall. Fundraise for it and call it the Lee Family Memorial Climbing Wall or whatever.

    Many schools have land and facilities granted to them at concessionary rates so rent and land costs are irrelevant.
    Coolboy and TaD_LaLa like this.

  9. #9

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    Should they go public and sell share in the stock market to raise capital?


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Many schools have land and facilities granted to them at concessionary rates so rent and land costs are irrelevant.
    No no no, our guru freeier says schools don't recieve any subsidy from the Government so this can't be true. The alternative is that he is talking bollocks, and I refuse to believe that.

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