ESF School Fees Increase After Two Year Freeze

The English Schools Foundation (ESF), Hong Kong’s largest provider of international education, has increased fees for primary and secondary students after a two-year freeze.
ESF School Fees Increase After Two Year Freeze
By Carli Allan
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The English Schools Foundation, which runs five kindergartens, nine primary, five secondary schools, two Private Independent Schools and a school for children with SEN in Hong Kong, will increase tuition fees for the first time in two years by around 3%. Parents with children in Year 7 will pay an extra HKD 25,500.

Fees at other international schools across Hong Kong are also increasing, subject to approval from the Education Bureau. Kellett School, Harrow International School and Stamford American School, Hong Kong are among those to announce fee increases of up to HKD 10,000 per year. 

Annual tuition fees at English Schools Foundation (ESF) schools will rise by an average of 2.9% for the 2022-23 academic year – but Year 7 will be the hardest hit with an annual increase of 19%. This above-average increase is due to the loss of ESF's annual HKD 283 million subsidy from the government, which started being phased out six years ago and will last for a period of 13 years. While the government subvention continues for all students in Years 8 to 13 in 2022-23, a new fee structure now applies to all students in Years 1-7.

Fees for primary school students in Years 1-6 to rise by HKD 3,300 from HKD 115,800 to HKD 119,100.

In a letter to parents, ESF CEO Belinda Greer said that fees had to be raised to help attract and retain high-quality teachers. Mrs Greer said:

"The Board is of the firm view that our success is dependent upon ESF attracting and retaining a team of high-quality teachers. The budget for 2022/23 takes into account the need for ESF to provide competitive salary levels, which have now been frozen since the start of session 2020."

All ESF schools have the same fee structure, and they have always had a reputation for being considerably cheaper than most international schools in Hong Kong. The group typically increases its fees an average of 4.5% every academic year.

In 2021, after a year of on-off school closures, the English Schools Foundation (ESF), Hong Kong’s largest provider of international education, froze its fees for the second year running. American International School in Kowloon was among other international schools to freeze their fees. 

What will the ESF fees be for 2022-23?

Tuition fees in Years 1-6 at ESF’s primary schools will rise from HKD 115,800 to HKD 119,100. This applies to Kowloon Junior, Beacon Hill,  Sha Tin Junior, Bradbury, Peak School, Glenealy School, Clearwater Bay, Quarry Bay and Kennedy schools.

At secondary schools including Sha Tin College, South Island School, King George V, West Island School, and Island School, the fees for Years 8 to 11 will be HKD 137,600, up from HKD 133,800; families of students studying the IBDP in Years 12 and 13 will continue to pay HKD 144,700.

Year 7 fees will increase from HKD 133,800 to HKD 159,300. 

Parents at Renaissance College (RCHK) and Discovery College, both Private Independent Schools run by the ESF, also face an increase of around 5% and 5.8% respectively, Fees for 2022-23 now range from HKD 127,500-170,900 at RCHK and HKD 134,200-179,600 at Discovery College.

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