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Greenfield sites allocated for international school development

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, announced today (August 6) that four greenfield sites in Kowloon and the New Territories had been successfully allocated to four quality operators for international school development.

   These new schools would provide a total of about 3,500 primary and secondary school places to address the demand for international school places among overseas families coming to Hong Kong for work or investment.

     "The Government supports the development of a vibrant international school sector in Hong Kong to underpin our aspiration to be an Asian world city," Mr Suen said.  "I am encouraged by the keen interest from the community in the expansion of Hong Kong's international school sector and I believe it has been a step forward for Hong Kong to develop a vibrant international school community attracting students from different parts of the increasingly interconnected world as well as to help develop education as an economic area in Hong Kong."

     Applications from 14 organisations were received in this allocation exercise for greenfield sites.  Details of the allocation results are:

Site locations                   Successful applicants

(1) Kai Cheung Road/               Kellett School  
    Wang Kwong Road,               Association
    Kowloon Bay,Kowloon            Limited  

(2) Former Lai Chi Kok             The Trustees of
    Cottage Area at                the Kowloon Tong
    King Lam Street,               Church of the   
    Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon           Chinese Christian
                                   and Missionary

(3) Junction of Wai Man Road       The Hong Kong
    and Mei Yuen Street, Area 4,   Academy   
    Sai Kung Town,                 Educational
    New Territories                Foundation Limited

(4) Ex-military site at Area 48,   Harrow International
    Castle Peak Road,              School (Hong Kong)
    So Kwun Wat, Tuen Mun,         Limited
    New Territories       

     The first three sites - Kowloon Bay, Lai Chi Kok and Sai Kung Town -would each be allocated for development into a primary cum secondary school for expansion/relocation of the existing international schools of the successful bidders.  The Tuen Mun site was allocated for the establishment and operation of a new international boarding school on a pilot basis operating both primary and secondary sections.  It would provide boarding places for students of the secondary section.

     Based on the initial plans of the successful applicants, the Education Bureau expected an additional provision of about 3,500 school places (comprising about 1,300 primary and 2,200 secondary school places ) on a progressive basis starting from the 2012-13 school year.  

     All applications received were considered by the Education Bureau on the advice of the School Allocation Committee comprising official and non-official members. The committee undertook a thorough and detailed scrutiny process taking into account a basket of factors including the quality of the school proposals, track record of operation, expansion/development needs of individual school operators, clarity of admission policies and target local/non-local students' percentage, 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.

     The Government has been taking measures, including the provision of greenfield sites at nominal premium and vacant 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.  There are 51 international schools in Hong Kong currently offering about 34,600 primary and secondary school places and serving about 30,900 students spanning more than 30 nationalities.

     As a follow-up of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 Policy Addresses, the Education Bureau allocated two vacant school premises on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories respectively to two existing international schools last October for their expansion projects.  The allocation is expected to bring about a total of around 300 primary and 430 secondary additional school places respectively on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories on a progressive basis starting from the 2009-10 school year.

     The Education Bureau will continue to monitor the provision of international school places and take necessary measures to meet the needs of the community.    

Ends/Thursday, August 6, 2009
Issued at HKT 09:45


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