Some upper-middle class families in Hong Kong are said to be accelerating plans to send their children overseas for studies due to concerns over the potential impact of the pro-democracy protests on the local education environment.
Sky Post reported Monday that some parents who had earlier planned to send their children to British universities for higher education are now seeking to move the offspring overseas at an earlier stage, for secondary or even primary education.
At a British Council Education Exhibition on Sunday, a woman surnamed Lau was quoted as saying that she had originally planned to send her 14-year-old son to Britain for the next school year. But now, she has decided to move it forward to January due to the Occupy demonstrations.
“My son is still young, not old enough to understand political issues,” she said.
Another person, a man surnamed Chan, said he also decided to more forward his son’s move to a British school. He wants his child to get to know and study in a free society, he said, citing worries over the education system in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, a person who bears the surname Leung, whose son is only six years old, said his family is planning to emigrate to the UK given doubts over the “one country, two systems”, according to the report.
The ongoing Occupy protests have become a catalyst for more parents to look to foreign studies for their children, the report noted.
Joe Chiu, executive director of EF Education First’s Hong Kong and Macau operations, was quoted as saying that parents had in the past normally taken about half a year after consultation to make their decisions regarding overseas study. But now, some people are taking decisions much more quickly, he said.
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