IB vs A Level: Where to Study in Hong Kong?

One of the most common questions when it comes to choosing an international secondary school in Hong Kong is whether to study the IBDP or A Levels. To help you make that decision, we've rounded up the schools offering the two curricula and looked at the programmes offered, their performance and cost.
IB vs A Level: Where to Study in Hong Kong?
By Carli Allan
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Is your child heading towards the college years? Are you looking for the best curriculum to prepare your teenager for a top university or career path? A large number of international schools in Hong Kong offer either the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) or A Levels to students aged 16-19 years. Both are two-year programmes that are widely recognised by universities and employers – and when it comes to the question of which qualification you should choose, there is no straight answer.

Conventional thinking says all-rounders (with strong organisational skills) tend to prefer the IBDP, while those with a clearly defined academic passion and preference for science, or the arts, or languages or the humanities tend to favour the A Level.

To read more about A Levels click here, and for the IBDP click here.
Click here to understand the differences between the IBDP and A Levels.

There are 30 schools offering the IBDP, including six that are full IB schools and also follow the IB Primary Years (PYP) and Middle Years Programmes (MYP). There’s a smaller choice of just 10 schools offering A Levels in Hong Kong. Han Academy, which opened in 2017, currently offers A Levels and plans to also offer the IBDP; this would make it the only school in Hong Kong to offer students the choice of both post-16 curricula.

Hong Kong’s largest provider of English-medium international education, the English Schools Foundation (ESF), offers the IBDP at its five secondary schools and two all-through schools.

Read on to find out more about where to study A Levels and the IBDP in Hong Kong.

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