Eight private and 33 direct-subsidy secondary schools in Hong Kong have been given permission to raise their school fees for the current school year, Ming Pao Daily News reported Wednesday.
Thirty percent of those schools are hiking fees by seven to 20 percent compared to last year, with the figure larger than what the Education Bureau had indicated earlier, the report said.
It is believed that the schools were given the freedom to calculate the percentages of their fee increases.
Some schools were found to have worked out their fee by comparing the schools fees paid by the same students last year and this year after they were promoted to an upper form, in order to arrive at a lower fee hike in percentage terms and get the Education Bureau’s approval.
If comparison is done on school fees for the same form between two years, the increase could be over 50 percent, which is much higher than what had been outlined by the Education Bureau.
Thirty-three out of Hong Kong’s 60 direct-subsidy schools applied for fee increases this year, with the Education Bureau approving all of the applications.
ECF Saint Too Canaan College is hiking fees for Secondary Five students this year to HK$14,100 (US$1,819), up by HK$4,150 from last year, translating to an increase of over 40 percent.
Secondary Three students would have paid HK$4,380 for tuition fees at Pui Kiu Middle School last year, but the fees have now increased by 51 percent to HK$6,630 this year. Buddhist Fat Ho Memorial College also hiked its fees by 50 percent to HK$4,500 this year, according to the report.
The Education Bureau acknowledged that schools have adopted different ways to calculate their tuition fees increases, such as comparing the fees for the same form between the two years, or comparing the fees paid by the same students last year and this year.
The Bureau added that it will consider the rationale of fee increases submitted by schools, as well as ensure that parents are properly consulted and agree on the proposed increases, before approving the requests.
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