Hong Kong International Schools – An Expensive Quest For The Education of Excellence

study in Hong Kong International School

Statistics indicate that more than 77% of students in international schools in Hong Kong is represented by non-local students. Constantly growing in a number of available seats and allocated premises, this is a well noted growing sector in Hong Kong’s education system and a definite point of interest for expats with children.

Types of International Schools in Hong Kong

The types of international schools in Hong Kong vary. A large portion of Hong Kong International schools works according to the British system while a number of schools offer the American curriculum.

However, there are others where the represented language is non-English, like the Japanese, French, Korean and German-Swiss international schools. In these schools, English would be limited to a certain class, while the curriculum is presented in the language of the sponsoring nation.

Still, the majority of schools to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.

Difference Between Local Schools & International Schools

The major difference between local schools and international schools is that international schools are completely independent and don’t receive any funding from the government, making them separate from the government.

Hence categorizing them under the private school sector along with private schools and private independent schools. Therefore the Hong Kong international schools are free to determine their own school fees, while the local schools are free of charge and subsequently obliged to follow the Education Bureau’s curriculum.

Thus the cost of education is a major consideration when deciding between local or international schools in Hong Kong. Even though the school fees of international schools in Hong Kong increased with only 8.5% in 2018 compared to an international trend of 19%, Hong Kong international schools are still of the most expensive international schools in the world.

Amounting to more than 1 million HKD for a child’s education from kindergarten to completion of undergraduate studies. Regardless of the extremely high school fees, the Hong Kong international schools still experience tremendous pressure to cater to high demand. Not only ex-pats living in Hong Kong are seeking a Western education for their children, but there are also a number of wealthy locals, who consider the international schools as a stepping stone for their children, to get into Western universities.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Which International School To Enrol For Your Child

When considering which one of Hong Kong’s international schools to apply at, a variety of aspects needs to be considered. Besides looking at Hong Kong international school ranking, parents need to seek for reliable feedback they can gather about the school.

You can probably discuss with parents whose children are already attending. Always keep an open mind to the fact that parents have different priorities regarding their children’s education and that certain areas of the school which they might consider as less important, might be extremely important to you.

Also consider if what the school is offering, is suited for your preferences and your child’s personality. You would want to find a school where your child would fit in and excel.

The international schools in Hong Kong are open for applications the entire year and early application is advised due to high volumes of application. Students will also have to complete an entrance exam to determine their proficiency in English as well as maths. When applying to an international school in Hong Kong where you have graduated from, you do receive priority above other applications.

Another factor of consideration for preference would also be if your child attended kindergarten at a particular school or whether a sibling is already attending the school.

Another option would be a monetary debenture which some top international schools in Hong Kong offer. These would, however, amount to roughly 10 million HKD and is most definitely not an option for all, but then again, can you put a price on quality education?


Hong Kong is a multicultural country with many races.  With globalisation, may foreign talents are now living as expatriates with their families.  These expats comes from around the world and their country of origins includes USA, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, China and others.

To cater to their children educational needs, many international schools have been established here offering different curriculums and the global International Baccalaureate system.  Each of the schools prides themselves as being unique, innovative and impactful in conducting their studies.

Being a small country, the schools are typically situated in residential areas where the expatriates are living.  Convenience is a key factor for these parents as the students can then be independent in commuting to and fro from the school.   As such, real estate properties near these schools are highly demanded commanding higher rental rates than the others.