New schools to boost expat places

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am


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In his final budget, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced four new international schools will provide 5,000 extra places to tackle the shortage of places for expatriate children.

The government will also support international schools in expanding campus sites or offering them vacant sites for short-term use.

A spokesman from the American Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new measures, saying that better access to high-quality education for children would attract foreign nationals to settle and live in Hong Kong.

It was reported last year that the city's top international schools were overwhelmed with applications and were facing record waiting lists. Critics are concerned that a lack of school places might be keeping foreign talent away from the city.

The German Swiss International School, for example, said that it had received 1,673 applications for its 126vacancies.

Hong Kong International School, which is facing opposition to its multimillion-dollar redevelopment plans, has agreed to lower the height of its 18-storey building - but only by one floor.

Tsang also announced that six more tertiary institutions would provide self-financing degree programmes, to boost the existing total to more than 13,000 places.