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Educating Kids in Hong Kong

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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7jai:
    Which also begs the argument, why are international schools charging ridiculously high school fees? I feel like they are extorting families. If they really want to help HK people, they should force these institutions to lower their school fees (if they can control it) to help the broader population get access to this type of education.
    Uh... international schools are basically private schools. Their customers are fairly comparable across many countries, and from what I've seen their fees are also comparable.

    Who is "they" and how would "they" "force" private schools to lower their fees? And if school fees were lowered, how would the "HK people" benefit from this if the number of places at these schools remain fixed?

    And what makes you think that this mysterious "they" want to help HK people, and what would this help look like? Do you really think that encouraging the population out of the mainstream school curriculum would be a serious goal?

    ESF used to receive a significant amount of funding from the government which led to a lower fee structure. This was dropped 5+ years ago. Otherwise there are DSS schools which I believe are still subsidised (or possibly even entirely government funded, I cannot remember.)

    Frankly, this argument was all over the place, it seems to ignore some pretty basic realities that parents have been facing for decades.

  2. #12

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    Split this out .. as it is less about anecdotal evidence related to moving out of HK and more related to educational policies.

    Split from: https://geoexpat.com/forum/newpostinthread361477.html

  3. #13

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    Which is why I laugh at people moving to Singapore for the kids
    In fairness to those making the move, the red lines in general are clear and not quickly moving, there is no anthem law, and logic is encouraged while Confucian rote learning is less prevalent. For those who want to stay in Asia and are concerned about HK deteriorating, it’s a reasonable alternative. Obviously it might still fall short if you used different benchmarks.
    TheBrit, Hkemail888 and rs4 like this.

  4. #14

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    @7jai - All international fees are approved by EDB. They charge extra because of the demand for expensive construction costs related to building better facilities and then maintaining them / imported teachers / smaller class sizes etc. Some do offer few subsidies bursaries for those who cannot afford to pay.

    If you look at the balance sheets of some of the schools... they're not excessively profitable.

    (I do agree that there are some overpaid paper weights at some of the schools - like any organisation including local schools and the govt).


  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl:
    Uh... international schools are basically private schools. Their customers are fairly comparable across many countries, and from what I've seen their fees are also comparable.

    Who is "they" and how would "they" "force" private schools to lower their fees? And if school fees were lowered, how would the "HK people" benefit from this if the number of places at these schools remain fixed?

    And what makes you think that this mysterious "they" want to help HK people, and what would this help look like? Do you really think that encouraging the population out of the mainstream school curriculum would be a serious goal?

    ESF used to receive a significant amount of funding from the government which led to a lower fee structure. This was dropped 5+ years ago. Otherwise there are DSS schools which I believe are still subsidised (or possibly even entirely government funded, I cannot remember.)

    Frankly, this argument was all over the place, it seems to ignore some pretty basic realities that parents have been facing for decades.
    Not trying to put up an argument. I thought some of these interational school has certain ties to governments? Or perhaps I have been mistaken as I am new to this internationl school world.

    In any case, I guess I don't really have much of a choice... Find a way to make more money, or settle for what it is. Or like many others have already done, leave.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    @7jai - All international fees are approved by EDB. They charge extra because of the demand for expensive construction costs related to building better facilities and then maintaining them / imported teachers / smaller class sizes etc. Some do offer few subsidies bursaries for those who cannot afford to pay.

    If you look at the balance sheets of some of the schools... they're not excessively profitable.

    (I do agree that there are some overpaid paper weights at some of the schools - like any organisation including local schools and the govt).
    Thanks Shri, I will take a look at these balance sheets. It's just astonishing how these costs have grown over the years. I get the facilities are much better and more advanced, but I just can't wrap my head around it. Like I said, I'm new to this game, so please bare with my ignorance on this subject lol

  7. #17

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    There is a global market for good English speaking teachers, and Hong Kong has to compete it in. Our school spends 70% of revenue on staff salaries, and I wouldn't expect Hong Kong international schools to be much different.

    We've recruited thirteen teachers from Hong Kong international schools over the last three years.


  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsianXpat0:
    In fairness to those making the move, the red lines in general are clear and not quickly moving, there is no anthem law, and logic is encouraged while Confucian rote learning is less prevalent. For those who want to stay in Asia and are concerned about HK deteriorating, it’s a reasonable alternative. Obviously it might still fall short if you used different benchmarks.
    Racism against South Asians is prevalent in Singapore and racial categorization is baked into the political system. SGP is better than HK in some ways and much worse in others.
    shri, Cheeky Kiwi and Beanieskis like this.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7jai:
    Not trying to put up an argument. I thought some of these interational school has certain ties to governments? Or perhaps I have been mistaken as I am new to this internationl school world.

    In any case, I guess I don't really have much of a choice... Find a way to make more money, or settle for what it is. Or like many others have already done, leave.

    AFAIK, international schools follow foreign curricula. Why would a government that is dead set on reforming national education policy also actively encourage parents to get out of this policy for foreign ones?

    Maybe some schools have government ties, I don't follow this either. I don't see how it really affects things much though. These school populations are miniscule compared to local schools.

    As I said, ESF was subsidised years ago, this vanished. ESF was initially set up to provide education to English speaking residents, but the student population has totally changed as most of the students from what I have seen are native Cantonese or Mandarin speakers, and entry requirements have been recently biased towards local residents.

    From the tiny amount I've seen of how they operate (as a parent, and via friends who work in the system), some of these schools are really expensive to run. Without huge subsidies, I don't see how they are 'extorting' parents... private education without massive government subsidies is just hugely expensive to operate.

    Edit: To be fair, some of these schools are definitely run to make profit. Nord Anglia is part of a group that's listed on an exchange.
    Last edited by jgl; 27-10-2022 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:
    Racism against South Asians is prevalent in Singapore and racial categorization is baked into the political system.
    Isn't that essentially the same here? Perhaps not codified, but when you have openly racist high level politicians, explicit codification doesn't even seem like a step further.
    TheBrit likes this.

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