Hong Kong International School: Fees, Freezes, Discounts and Bursaries
By Anne Murphy,
Director, Educational Services
ITS Education Asia
The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the income of many families in Hong Kong. Recognizing the financial stress, the pandemic continues to have on families, many international schools have decided to freeze tuition fees for 2021-2022 academic year and others are offering financial help in different ways.
School fees have been a major issue for Hong Kong parents amid the pandemic. Parents have demanded several relaxations in school fees – and their requests have not been ignored. Schools have steeped up and have found ways to assist though fee rebates, scholarships, bursaries and discounts.
The English Schools Foundation (ESF), Hong Kong’s biggest international school group, Invictus International School, the Harbour School, American School Hong Kong, Mount Kelly and Invictus School, plan to freeze fees for the 2021-22 academic year.
Some prominent schools have rolled out scholarship and bursary schemes. To name a few, American School Hong Kong, Discovery Bay International School, French International School, Harrow International School, Hong Kong Academy, Kellett School, Malvern College Hong Kong, Mount Kelly, Shrewsbury International School, Stamford American School and Yew Chung International School.
Depending on the school, scholarships are either merit-based schemes or financial and some have a hybrid of both. Bursaries are awarded in the form of a discount of up to 100% on tuition fees, depending on the financial circumstances of applicants. The granting of a bursary is discretionary – and only families with a relatively low household income are likely to receive assistance.
Although tuition fees need to be approved by the Education Bureau – some schools are aiming to increase their fees – the rise could be anything from 4% - 10%. This amount is completely staggering for any family who are facing a financial crisis during these times – and as such with the rise of fees in the horizon, many families have opted to withdraw their children from high fee-paying schools. Parents are either deciding to leave Hong Kong or are transferring their children to an affordable alternative. These lower-cost options range from HKCA Po Leung Kuk School, Invictus International School, Japanese International School, Lantau International School, Norwegian International School.
Apart from the tuition fees, parents also need to pay levies, debentures, application fees, transport fees and debentures. While each school has different pricing structures, it can all be quite daunting for relocating parents or for any parent who is embarking on the school search for their child.
For a full review on schools, curriculum choices, fee structures, visit https://school.itseducation.asia/
ABOUT ITS EDUCATION ASIA (ITS)
ITS Education Asia provides a variety of learning and education planning opportunities through its Hong Kong schools and in its virtual school online. Learning is both informal, such as tutorial support, and formal preparation for a range of well-known public examinations and school entrance tests. ITS was the first independent education planning service established by teachers in Hong Kong for Hong Kong schools and they have successfully placed countless students into top schools and Universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, UK and US.