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SED: Move to develop vibrant international school community

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, said today (October 2) that he was encouraged by the keen interest in expansion of Hong Kong's international school sector, signifying a step forward to develop a vibrant international school community attracting students from different parts of the increasingly interconnected world.

     Mr Suen made his remarks in relation to the allocation results of three vacant or to-be-vacated school premises for international school development.

     He said: "I am pleased that three quality operators have been selected in a competitive exercise involving 15 applications. The allocations will help to address the demand for international school places among families coming to Hong Kong for work or investment."

     Details of the allocation results are:

     Premises location        Successful applicants   

(1) 1 Cheung Man Road,        French International
    Chai Wan, Hong Kong       School "Victor
                              Segalen" Association

(2) Yue Wan Estate,           The Hong Kong Academy
    Chai Wan, Hong Kong       Educational Foundation

(3) Sha Tau Kok Road,         Hong Lok Yuen
    Sha Tau Kok, NT           International School
                              Association Limited

     Based on the initial plans of the successful applicants, the Education Bureau (EDB) expects an additional provision of about 300 primary and 200 secondary school places on Hong Kong Island and about 400 secondary school places in the New Territories, on a progressive basis starting from the 2009-10 school year.

     All applications have been considered by the bureau on the advice of the School Allocation Committee whose membership comprises both official and non-official members. The committee has taken into account a basket of factors including, inter alia, the quality of the school proposals, track record of operation, expansion/development needs of individual school operators, clarity of admission policies and target students, curriculum and accreditation, support for students, school governance, financial plan, as well as the certainty and capacity of the applicants to deliver their proposals in good time.

     To follow up the 2007-08 Policy Address, the bureau earlier this year earmarked four greenfield sites (in Kowloon Bay, Lai Chi Kok, Sai Kung and Tuen Mun) for the development of international schools. It has also made available four vacant/to-be-vacated school premises (three in Eastern district and one in North district) for the purpose. In respect of the allocation exercise for vacant premises just concluded, the bureau has taken the advice of the School Allocation Committee not to allocate one of the premises in the Eastern district, as the few proposals received for that premises fell short of the committee's expectations.
     The Education Bureau is planning to launch an exercise for allocation of the four greenfield sites in Kowloon and the New Territories towards the end of 2008 for international school development. Keen interest is again expected, as 31 parties have expressed interest.
     The Government has been taking measures, including the provision of greenfield sites at nominal premium and existing school premises for the development or expansion of international schools, to support the development of a vibrant international school sector, and to strengthen Hong Kong's position as a global metropolis and a regional education hub. International schools in Hong Kong currently offer about 35,000 primary and secondary school places and serve students spanning about 30 nationalities.      

Ends/Thursday, October 2, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:12


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