Wealthy Chinese Making UK Middle-class Unable to Afford Boarding School

Wealthy Chinese Making UK Middle-class Unable to Afford Boarding School
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What you need to know

Chinese students with wealthy backgrounds have caused the tuitions of the boarding schools (student ages ranging from 7 to 18) in the UK to rise dramatically, pricing out middle-class British families, which are no longer able to afford the skyrocketed fees.

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Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

With China emerging as one of the largest economies in the world, many wealthy families in the country have sent their children to private boarding schools (student ages ranging from 7 to 18) in the west for a better education.

These students with wealthy backgrounds have caused the tuitions of the boarding schools in the UK to rise dramatically, pricing out middle-class British families, which are no longer able to afford the skyrocketed fees.

The Times reports, Patrick Derham, headmaster of Westminster School in central London, warns that boarding schools in the UK have overly relied on the enormous fees paid by wealthy Chinese parents. As the speed of tuition raise has outpaced salary increase, local middle-class families have been priced out of these private schools.

The report writes that in 2015, the average tuition of boarding schools was UK$30,000 (approximately US$43,200). According to a survey conducted by a wealth-planning firm, Killik & Co, since the 1990s, the annual increase rate of private school tuitions in the UK has exceeded the inflation rate.

The total amount of students in boarding schools has remained steadily at 70,642 over the last 15 years, but the number of international students has risen to 27,211, accounting for 38.5%. Among the foreign students, 21% are from China, 17.6% from Hong Kong and 10.3% from Russia.

Stand News reports, due to the delicacy of the issue, British schools usually do not publicize the number of their international students.

Five years ago, then principal of Reedman School said publicly that half of their students were from overseas. Her successor had to reduce the rate after seeing strong protests from local parents and students.

BBC reports, Derham states that the boarding schools started to accept international students in the 1970s, but the number of foreign students has never reached this much in the past.

According to Project Atlas, which reports data on global student mobility, China has been sending out more and more students to study overseas in the last decade. For instance, in 2009, Chinese students surpassed Indian students as the largest international student group in the US, and have since stayed on top of the place-of-origin list of international students.

From 2013 to 2014, the number of Chinese students studying in the US was 274,439, which accounted for 31% of all the international students in the US and was almost three times the amount of Indian students, the second largest group on the list.
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
“Middle-class being priced out of boarding schools by rich Chinese" (The Times)
Liberty Times
Stand News
BBC
Project Atlas

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