The number of schools applying for fee increases in the time of Covid has dropped considerably from 179 last year to less than 50 this year. The majority of schools that applied are increasing tuition fees by 10% or less.
All international, Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) and private schools must apply to the EDB for the approval of any adjustment to tuition fees. The EDB has capped all increases at 20%.
At international schools, the approved increases vary. For example, at Chinese International School the fees for Year 1 have risen by HKD 4,400 from HKD 217,900 to HKD 222,300. The majority of international schools in Hong Kong, though, have frozen their tuition fees for the new academic year, and some are offering subsidies for families in need.
Hong Kong’s largest provider of international education, the English Schools Foundation (ESF), has frozen its fees for the 2020-21 academic year; ESF typically increases its fees an average of 4.5% every academic year.
Tuition fees in Years 1-3 at ESF’s primary schools stay as HKD 115,800 per year, and Years 5 to 6 remain HKD 98,500. 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 7 to 11 stay as HKD 133,800; families of students studying the IBDP in Years 12 and 13 continue to pay HKD 140,700.
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The cost of an education at any of Hong Kong’s international schools cannot be judged by its tuition fees alone, though. Most schools charge an annual non-refundable capital levy per student. These can range from an annual levy of HKD 7,530 at Discovery College to as much as HKD 60,000 at Harrow International School. Other schools charge a compulsory debenture, ranging from HKD 90,000 at French International School to HKD 450,000 at The Harbour School. And this is all before counting the cost of other fees covering technology, field trips, lunch, uniform etc.
Read more about the true cost of an education at international schools in Hong Kong here.