For decades, students worldwide have craved an education comparable to that received by students in the UK as the curriculum and education system is held in such high esteem. It has resulted in the concept of British international schools booming in demand across Asia for the last two decades. Nowhere is that more the case than in Asia, with high-quality British schools flourishing in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Thailand and now Vietnam.
Across the Middle East and Asia, there are currently 65 private British schools with expats and locals all wanting the best education for their children. Of course, many schools offering boarding and as the leading international school in Hong Kong, naturally, it is something that we also offer. With residential study becoming increasingly popular, it has led to families searching for the best international schools in Asia, often extending their search beyond their own country’s borders.
Why is a British based education valued so highly?
For centuries, Britain has been one of the world’s most powerful nations and has garnered respect in all four corners of the globe. In the same way, as its industrial strength was admired in the 19th and early 20th century, its education system is replicated around the world. However, there is no substitute for the real thing, and the British-based qualifications are still highly respected and trusted by further education establishments and employers around the world.
With the British curriculum available in international schools across Asia and with most of these schools offering extensive extra-curricular activities, students who attend are viewed as having a rounded education that extends far beyond merely academic qualifications. The British education system helps breed strong, independent and dynamic individuals who often go on to achieve their potential in the classroom, university, and workplace.
Why choose Hong Kong?
Although several countries in Asia have superb British international schools, it is perhaps countries that have strong historical links with the UK, which are the most attractive. Of course, Hong Kong and Singapore are two countries that immediately spring to mind. It is no coincidence that these two places have large expats communities, many of whom will work in the financial and legal sectors and be handsomely rewarded.
Hong Kong is an attractive option for the best teachers as they will receive far better financial packages than in most other countries and enjoy a fantastic lifestyle. High-quality teaching combined with excellent facilities is the ideal platform on which any school can build. The fact that the former colony has such close associations with the UK, also means that it is arguably held in higher regarded than other countries by universities and future employers.
From a parent’s and a student’s perspective, Hong Kong is a safe country with a well respected legal system. There will be plenty of activities for students to enjoy with their peers outside of school and extra-curricular activities, meaning that they will get a broader overall experience. Students studying in Hong Kong often go to university in the United Kingdom, an accolade that is highly prized across Asia and often brings immense pride for local students and their families.
What can parents and students expect from an international school in Hong Kong?
Like anywhere else in the world, international schools do vary in quality and inevitably, price. The very best schools, such as ourselves, employ only native English teachers who would be regarded as the cream of the crop. Due to the number of applicants that we receive for each post, we are in the fortunate position to pick and choose who we feel will bring added value to their faculty. Employing the best teachers means that parents and students can be confident that lessons will be fun, engaging, and most importantly help students gain the grades they deserve.
Of course, it is not only the teaching staff that play a role in educational quality. At Harrow International School Hong Kong, we have world-class facilities in the classrooms regarding sporting, music and art facilities, and a state-of-the-art science block. We also attract students that have an excellent work ethic, and this is something that we endeavour to ensure is passed on from one year group to the next. It creates a healthy and productive learning environment that is essential when it comes to producing excellent results.
Another notable point with international schools, especially boarding schools is the superb choice of extra-curricular activities available to students. It helps broaden students’ horizons and develop as human beings whilst producing top athletes, scientist, musicians, and artists. We firmly believe that education extends far beyond the classroom. The opportunities that are presented to students in Hong Kong are frequently regarded as being the best in Asia, thus cementing its place as the best place to gain a British based education on the continent.
What are the fees compared to other countries?
We are fully aware that tuition fees may be preventive for some families. However, you will find our prices comparable with other schools in the region. For around $1,000 more per academic year when compared to places such as Thailand, Vietnam and mainland China, students will get the opportunity to learn in world-class facilities. For those living and working in Hong Kong, fees are frequently paid by companies employing expatriates. Even in the case where schools fees aren’t included in the remuneration package; the tax benefits make the difference in real terms negligible.
Hong Kong is regarded as one of the most advanced places in Asia, and the financial and legal sectors are trusted around the world. It is an advanced region and highly respected. When combined with the excellent international school, it has a strong argument for being the best place in Asia to gain a British education. Students from our school have gone on to study at some of the world’s top universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and Harvard, with many becoming incredibly successful in the chosen fields.