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【The Standard】Get the most for your money

School Guide


International baccalaureate courses are becoming increasingly popular. Today, 57 schools in Hong Kong offer IB courses, 29 of which are known as “IB schools” as they offer the two-year IB diploma program for 16- to 18-year-olds. Tuition fees range from HK$60,000 to HK$150,000 per year, with recent reports suggesting that parents also spend around HK$10,000 per month on tutoring. Upon completion of an IB course, students are often highly valued by overseas universities and can apply to local universities directly, according to non-JUPAS admissions criteria.


If you’re hoping to send your child to the UK to study the IB diploma, you may be interested to know that the following schools have all been named as top UK IB schools by Education Advisers (, and their tuition fees are more affordable than those of many other UK IB schools.


Scarborough College

Based on the North Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough is one of the UK’s most reasonably priced IB schools, with tuition fees of 27,363 (HK$287,130) per year. 

Despite being on the lower end of the cost scale, the school doesn’t compromise on quality. This year, the average number of points achieved per student in the IB diploma was 32.5; the equivalent of two A*s and one A grade at A level, and above the worldwide average of 29 points per student. Over 80 percent of leavers fulfilled their first-choice university offers.


Royal High School Bath

An all-girls school based in the historic city, Royal High School Bath is cheaper than many other UK IB schools, with tuition fees of 29,649 per year.

According to Education Advisers, this is one of the UK’s top five IB schools (small cohort). This year, the average score per student in the IB diploma was 37 – eight points above the world average of 29. Six students achieved a score above 39 (the standard Oxbridge offer), with two students scoring an impressive 43 points. The majority of students went on to study courses such as mathematics with management and finance, French and Russian, psychology and linguistics, English language and literature and law, at Russell Group universities.


Sidcot School

Also based in Somerset, Sidcot is founded upon Quaker beliefs, emphasizing truth, integrity, respect, simplicity, equality and sustainability. 

This year’s IB diploma results were slightly below the global average, at 28.31 points per student on average, although almost three-quarters of students met the requirements of their first-choice university offer, with over 40 percent going to Russell Group universities. Tuition fees are set at 30,750 per year.


Windermere School

Located in the idyllic surroundings of the Lake District in Cumbria, Windermere offers a tranquil study environment. At 30,420 per year, fees are slightly above those of some other IB schools, but the school’s excellent academic performance compensates for this. This year, students at Windermere broke the school record for IB diploma results for the second year running, with an average score per student of 35.03. 


Many students secured places at prestigious universities worldwide. 

Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink.

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