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Hong Kong to be less attractive for Expat managers?

Posted by | October 31, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, Recruitment, working-in-hong-kong

The ESF (see our schools page) is the largest provider of English Medium of Instruction (EMI) in Hong Kong. As reported in The Standard today, ESF chairman Carlson Tong Ka- shing said the ESF may have to increase fees by at least 23 percent when the Government subvention is phased out. The ESF already operates two Private Independent Schools that operate outside of the subvention. One of these, Discovery College has announced fee/levy increases amounting to 53% over 5 years.

ESF are running a business that is oversubscribed, so inflation-busting fee increases are likely to be sustainable in the short-term. The Education Department has approved the DiscoveryCollege increases, so Government has again signalled that EMI is a matter purely for private sector market economics.

For an Expat middle-manager with a couple of children, unchecked increases of this magnitude could be enough to make an ESF education unaffordable.

The resulting reduction of globally experienced staff, that bring overseas working practices and international experience to the local workplace will impact Hong Kong’s competitiveness.

Peter Udall
Guest Editor

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