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Tuesday 21-Feb-2017
【The Standard:Boarding Insider】Numbers with hidden truths

Reporting on the Independent Schools Council Census 2016, Britannia StudyLink has found that Hong Kong parents' attitude toward sending their children to UK schools is profoundly different from that of parents from other countries.

We need to get back to basics and remember what a British education can do for our children.

The ISC acts on behalf of 1,280 independent schools in the UK and overseas and is considered to be one of the most trustworthy sources of information regarding UK independent schooling.

One major concern arising from the census is whether the number of British boarders will keep pace with the number of international boarders over the next few years.

Cultural incompatibility may discourage overseas families who expect boarding houses to have a fair proportion of British pupils.

Back to Hong Kong and it is possible to conclude that far too many Hong Kong students do not benefit from a long and deeply immersive British education.

To support this view, one only has to look at the percentage of Hong Kong pupils in UK prep schools - a staggeringly low 1.3 percent of the total number of Hong Kong pupils in the UK.

In contrast, there are signs that Japanese and Chinese parents are beginning to send their children to the UK much earlier.

The view held by Britannia founder Samuel Chan - that Hong Kong parents prefer to browse league tables and send their children to the UK much later in order for their children to secure places at prestigious universities - is thoroughly plausible.

Time and time again, we stress the point that young Hong Kong adults with an excellent degree from a top university but fewer experiences and stunted transferable skills may not be to an employer's liking. Indeed, it could be a catastrophic mismatch.

That said, the Hong Kong overseas school placement sector - Britannia StudyLink included - is optimistic of turning the tide. The percentage of new Hong Kong pupils in prep schools in 2016 was 2 percent. This represents a slight improvement and it is our job, as education consultants, to drive the message home about the values of an immersive British education in seminars and education fairs.

Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink.

Original article:

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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.


Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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