The head of Confucius Hall Secondary School in Causeway Bay says its low fees have made it difficult to provide more teaching and learning activities. Photo: SCMP Pictures

34 popular Hong Kong direct subsidy schools seek fee rises of up to 87 per cent

But another 34 say tuition costs will remain unchanged when new year starts in September

Thirty-four out of 82 direct subsidy schools, which are increasingly popular among parents seeking an alternative curriculum, have applied to push up tuition fees from September, with one seeking a rise of up to 87 per cent.

Another 34 would keep prices at the same level when the new school year started, the Education Bureau said on Wednesday.

The schools are partly funded by the government but enjoy greater freedom in adjusting their curriculum and charge higher fees.

Among the schools that did reveal the fees, Confucius Hall Secondary School in Causeway Bay planned to raise annual tuition fees by up to 87 per cent to HK$3,180.

The highly popular Diocesan Boys’ School in Mong Kok proposed increases of up to 15 per cent for its international baccalaureate programme – taking the cost to HK$93,700 a year for local pupils and HK$160,300 for non-locals. The school last year also raised its IB tuition fees by about 15 per cent.


A spokeswoman said the school planned to use the extra funding to provide comprehensive individual counselling and small-class education. The school expected to lose around HK$4 million in the coming school year if the fees remained unchanged.

Confucius Hall principal Yeung Wing-hon said the school, which switched to the direct subsidy system three years ago, had been charging low fees and found it difficult to provide more teaching and learning activities.

“The fee base is too low for us to develop, so we need to raise fees,” said Yeung.

YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College in Tung Chung proposed raising fees by up to 14.3 per cent for locals and up to 15.8 per cent for non-locals. So locals would pay from HK$28,000 to HK$52,000 a year, and non-locals from HK$78,528 to HK$107,399.

Principal Dion Chen said the school had promised parents that fees would remain unchanged for Form 1 students for two years, and would increase when they reached Form 3 and again when they reached Form 5.


He said that while it seemed like the fee at Form 6 for local students taking the Diploma of Secondary Education curriculum had increased by 14.3 per cent from HK$24,500 to HK$28,000, for the current Form 5 students, who were already paying HK$28,000 a year, the fee would in fact remain unchanged when they reached Form 6 in September.

The same applied to non-local students’ fees, Chen added.

Ying Wa College in Cheung Sha Wan applied for a 6.8 per cent increase to HK$18,800 a year. Vice-principal Mak Tak-cheung said the school needed more funds to hire an additional student counsellor and a swimming teacher, and to develop an e-learning environment.


Diocesan Girls’ School, another popular choice, would maintain fees at HK$38,000 a year. A spokeswoman said the school had not been raised prices since 2005.

A bureau spokeswoman said direct subsidy schools needed to consult parents before raising fees and submit sufficient justification for the increases. She said schools needed to reserve no less than 10 per cent of tuition incomes for fee remissions or scholarships.