Education winds blow East

International school developments in Hong Kong respond to rising demand across the globe for an education overseas

New international school developments in Hong Kong are responding to the huge demand for school places. One such initiative, Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAIS HK), will open its doors in the Lam Tin district of East Kowloon, at the start of the next academic year. With a first year intake of 450 students, over 25 nationalities will be represented, including local children.

The school will initially cater for years 1 to 7, before expanding to years 8 and 9 in the 2015-2016 academic year, with hopes for an upper secondary school offering IGCSEs and the IB Diploma in the near future. This will be the 30th school for the NAIS group, which now delivers learning to students in 12 countries.

Responding to the preference of parents in Hong Kong, NAIS HK will teach the English National Curriculum, adapted specifically for the learning needs of its international community. It seeks a learning approach that focuses on critical and analytical thinking, encourages a learning-focused mind-set, and incorporates continual assessment to ensure sufficient support for students.

 Mindful of the high cost of international schooling, NAIS HK is offering academic and bursary scholarships, including some specifically for local families. These include academic and creative scholarships that can provide a 100% reduction in tuition fees for students.

Research by the independent International School Consultancy group (ISC) reports this growing demand for international education.

According to latest data from ISC, the number of international schools in Hong Kong, in the last decade, has risen from 92 to 171 schools; the number of students has almost doubled from 34,200 to 66,138. Chinese, British, American, Canadian and Australian students now make up the largest countries of origin.

ISC research reveals that there are several other new school projects underway in Hong Kong, including a HK$900m redevelopment plan in Repulse Bay, and an expansion for the Christian Alliance International School, which is developing a new state-of-the-art campus in Butterfly Valley, Lai Chi Kok, and will offer a Canadian curriculum.

However, ISC predicts that such developments are unlikely to fully satisfy the anticipated demand for places expected over the next few years. Chairman of ISC, Nicholas Brummitt says: “Current demand in Hong Kong suggests continued pressure on international school places in the foreseeable future. Demand will outstrip the current and forthcoming supply of places to such an extent that good quality new international schools are highly likely to succeed.”

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