New Hong Kong international school developments respond to demand

New international school developments in Hong Kong are responding to the huge demand for school places. A brand new international school will open this September and several other new schools and expansions are in the pipeline according to ISC Research (part of the International School Consultancy Group, ISC) which delivers independent market research on the world’s English-medium international schools market.

Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAIS HK) will open for the new academic year in the Lam Tin district of East Kowloon.  Over 450 students representing over 25 nationalities, including local children, will be the first to join NAIS HK in September. The school will initially cater for years 1 to 7, expanding to years 8 and 9 in the 2015-2016 academic year, and with hopes for an upper secondary school offering the University of Cambridge 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 will also provide small class sizes, experienced teachers and high performance learning.  This follows a learning approach that focuses on critical and analytical thinking, encourages a learning-focused mind-set, and incorporates continual assessment to ensure students are appropriately and sufficiently supported or extended in their learning at all times.

Brian Cooklin, Principal of Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong says: “The interest level for places has been incredibly high. What we hear from our parents, both local and expat, is that this level of interest is driven by the reputation of our worldwide family of schools as well as the high demand for an international style of education in Hong Kong.”

Mindful of the high cost of international schooling in Hong Kong, NAIS HK is offering academic and bursary scholarships including some specifically for local families. These include scholarships providing a 100% reduction in tuition fees for students who demonstrate exceptional ability academically or in such disciplines as the arts, music or drama.

According to ISC Research, there are several other new school projects underway in Hong Kong  including the expansion of Hong Kong International School, a HK$900m redevelopment plan in Repulse Bay. This will provide 200 additional places when construction is complete in 2017, taking the school to 850 primary students at full capacity.  There are also expansions for The International Montessori School network in Hong Kong which was awarded a site in Stanley last year providing 700 new primary places, and for the Christian Alliance International School which is developing a new state-of-the-art campus in Butterfly Valley, Lai Chi Kok. This new campus, which will offer a Canadian curriculum, is expected to open in 2016 and will teach children aged from 3 to18. This new development will enable the school to increase its intake from 750 to 1,600 students.

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.”

The expansion and development of international schools in Hong Kong is controlled by a government tender process which is currently inviting bids for three greenfield sites and two vacant school premises.

According to the very latest data from ISC, the number of international schools in Hong Kong has risen from 92 in 2000 to a total of 171 schools today and the number of students has almost doubled from 34,200 to 66,138. Increasing demand for school places is coming from local wealthy families who want an English-medium international school education for their children.  Chinese, British, American, Canadian and Australian students now make up the largest countries of origin. 28% of Hong Kong’s international schools have student populations of at least 500, and 12% have more than 1,000.

There are currently 7,111 English-medium international schools worldwide.

ISC Research (part of the International School Consultancy Group, ISC) has been delivering independent market intelligence on the world’s English-medium international schools market for over 25 years. It is the only research organisation in the world that focuses exclusively on the international schools market.