After paying hundreds of thousands of tuition fees, the parents of the international school decided to return to the college entrance examination

After paying hundreds of thousands of tuition fees, the parents of the international school decided to return to the college entrance examination

In early July, Huang Peng took his family and drove from Changping District, Beijing to an ordinary residential building in Xicheng. He sold the old house for a total of more than 50 square meters and bought some new homes that he had just purchased. The total price is 7.3 million. Huang Peng plans to redecorate the house during the summer vacation. If nothing happens, school starts in September this year. The child who originally attended the international school will become a fifth-grade elementary school student in Xicheng Public School.

This is not the life route Huang Peng planned for his children.

If it were not for the epidemic, international relations and other factors, Huang Peng’s children would most likely follow the path of the original international school and continue their studies under another teaching system that is different from that of public schools. After graduating from high school, apply for advanced studies in foreign universities. But since last year, out of worries about the above two aspects, after several discussions, the family decided to transfer the child back to a public school, and started a tour of the West Side at the beginning of this year.

Huang Peng represents a group of people studying in international schools. Their common portrait is a family with a certain financial foundation that can afford a tuition fee of 160,000 to 300,000 yuan a year. They have received higher education themselves, and generally hold senior management positions in enterprises, especially foreign companies, except for foreign families, celebrities, and wealthy classes. They advocate elite education and are full of expectations for the future of their children. After seeing the limitations of education within the system, they hope to find a balance under the Chinese and Western education systems. Of course, there are also middle-class people who are “non-Beijing nationals” and expect their children to receive a good education.

This was originally an alternative to the college entrance examination. However, factors such as the epidemic have split parents who previously studied in international schools into two ends.

A teacher who teaches at an international school told the Economic Observer that before the epidemic, sporadic families were transferred to public schools every year. The obvious change was that after the epidemic, there were more transfer students, even though different international school students went to public schools. There are still differences in the ratio of reflow.

There is currently no relevant data to prove the proportion of this wave of backflow. However, the lack of scale of the international school market can be seen in the “2020 China International School Development Report” released by the international education research organization “New Theory”. According to the report, in 2020, the number of students in international schools will be 610,000. Affected by factors such as the lack of growth in the number of students studying abroad in recent years and the increasing difficulty of applying for school licenses, the number of international schools and the growth rate of market size will both decrease in 2020. In 2020, the total size of China’s international school market is 43.9 billion yuan, a growth rate of only 7%. The compound growth rate of the Chinese international school industry in the past seven years has been as high as 12%.

Now, with the worries about various uncertain factors, some families studying in international schools have developed the idea of ​​transferring their children back to public schools.

1. Cost-effective considerations

Huang Peng’s idea of ​​transferring his children to another school came up last year.

Affected by the epidemic in 2020, most foreign teachers of international schools cannot return to China to teach. International schools have generally adopted online online courses as a teaching alternative during this year. However, unlike public schools that exempt tuition during the compulsory teaching phase, international schools continue to charge high tuition and school bus fees after offline teaching is stopped, which makes some parents angry.

Although Huang Peng’s child’s school finally reached an agreement with the parents on school bus deduction and 10% tuition refund for the new semester, he was disappointed by the non-refundable tuition fee of more than 100,000 yuan. What worries Huang Peng more than this is that after several confrontations with the school due to the refund incident, he is afraid that this will affect the relationship between the school, teachers and children.

The more important reason is the price/performance ratio.

International relations and the rapid increase in the number of people who have returned to China with a background of studying abroad has weakened the competitive advantage of overseas education to a certain extent. Compared with the various expenses of international schools each year, Huang Peng said: “The price-performance ratio has become less and less cost-effective .”

International schools in China are mainly divided into three categories: foreign children’s schools, private international schools, and public schools’ international departments. Needless to say, foreign children’s schools have relatively low tuition, but the selection and evaluation are strict. It is not that parents can enter at will. Therefore, according to the above-mentioned “2020 China International School Development Report” statistics, private international schools for Chinese and foreign students currently account for 75% of international schools.

How much does it cost and how much does it cost to attend a private international school every year?

Take a piece of Beijing Haijia International Bilingual School tuition fee as an example. According to the semester fee, the tuition fee for international kindergarten is about 88,000 yuan per semester, and for preschool is 218,000 yuan a year. International elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools generally cost between 250,000 and 290,000. In between, the above fees do not include the annual accommodation cost of 70,000 to 90,000 yuan, the cost of school uniforms of 1,850 to 3,400 yuan per set, and the cost of lunch and intermissions of 5,500 to 8,200 yuan per year, while Haijia’s fees in the international school are several medium level.

Huang Peng is considered to be a parent who has choices in international schools. He has a registered permanent residence in Beijing and he can choose between public schools and international schools. I chose an international school at the beginning because I claimed to be a “Buddha” parent and didn’t want to join the fight for the school district’s housing, and I didn’t want my children to go back to the strict college entrance examination selection path in the system that year.

But in the end, Huang Peng embarked on the journey of buying a house in West City, and at the end of June this year, he sold a second-hand house that was not a popular area in West City.

Huang Peng said: “In choosing a public school or an international school, in addition to firmly sending their children abroad, wealthy and capable families, most of them have a cost account: Is it cost-effective to buy a school district housing? Or take an international kindergarten? From the beginning, it is more cost-effective to read all the way to going abroad? From the current point of view, the tuition fees, miscellaneous fees, and annual tuition fees for studying at an international school are at least more than 3 million. If there is a plan for a’second child’, it is more than 6 million. “

In his opinion, the school district seems to be more expensive on the surface, but it is not. The investment value of the school district’s housing is a recoverable cost, and the big deal is to sell it after the child finishes reading. The millions of dollars spent on international schools are sunk costs. Most of the families that have aspirations want their children to enter “Ivy League schools.” However, general international schools are not as competitive as the public international department. If you calculate this probability, the school district houses even more. Cost-effective.

Among the degree premiums and investment premiums that people pursue in school districts, Huang Peng’s house inspections from the beginning of the year to June were sold. The price of houses of the same type in the same district in Xicheng has risen by 500,000.

Second, do you want happiness index or competitiveness

Like Huang Peng, Yang Shuang, whose daughter is in an international school in Chaoyang, is still planning to list his house in Chaoyang District in the near future.

Yang Shuang is a staunch “chicken baby mother” that prompted her to want to return to a public school. In addition to the points settled in Beijing last year, the results of this year’s Math Cup also made her aware of the gap between her children and public school children. “A total of two simulated exams at home, 45 points for the first time and 50 points for the second time.” Yang Shuang said that even though this competition is biased towards Olympiad, many public school students say that this topic is simple.

In such an era full of educational “anxiety”, Yang Shuang can’t bear the gap between public schools and international schools. “If you are not good at Chinese and math, you can apply for a class outside. It is reasonable to say that children who have been immersed in the English environment should have good English. However, there is a gap between the English scores and the children who apply for courses such as New Oriental.

On the other hand, for Yang Shuang, children must always develop in the country. With the sharp increase in the number of returnees from abroad, the reduction in the premium for overseas academic qualifications has also made her re-examine whether it is necessary to take such an international route.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, in 2010, the ratio of the number of international students going abroad to the number of returnees was about 2:1, and by 2018, the number of returnees accounted for 78% of the total number of students studying abroad, and the vast majority of international students would choose to return. That being the case, for some parents, a 985 or 211 diploma at the undergraduate level, and then go abroad to study at the graduate level, this combination may be more competitive for their children’s future.

In the eyes of these families who have hopes for their children and have a certain financial foundation, international schools have advantages: bilingual teaching, and there are university application guidance in the school, which can better connect with international prestigious schools. High, and then apply for a foreign university in the college entrance examination, it is too easy. In addition, there is also a great advantage in the ratio of teachers to the size of a class of 30 or 40 in public schools. Usually small class teaching, a class of no more than 20 students, led by the head and deputy head teacher, can pay more attention to each child Growth and development.

In fact, this has become the original intention of most international parents who are not pursuing “Ivy League schools.” But Yang Shuang is obviously more urgent. She belongs to the portrait of a parent in the pursuit of the ultimate elite education in international schools. “The happiness index of international schools is higher, but the core is to go to school and future competitiveness.” For this reason, every weekend or after class, Yang Shuang will take his children to the scene of various tutoring classes outside the language and mathematics. To learn fencing, chess, Tai Chi, hip-hop, swimming and other courses.

After getting the registered permanent residence in Beijing, Yang Shuang moved the idea of ​​transitioning to a public school.

Three, household registration worries

Yang Shuang said that when children were originally enrolled in international schools, there was a factor that they did not have a registered permanent residence in Beijing at that time. However, in international schools, this type of non-Beijing population accounted for not a small proportion.

The same is true for Wang Ning. Wang Ning works in a foreign-funded company in Beijing. Due to the epidemic last year, the company’s overseas business was blocked. Although there has not been a significant change in income, she is not optimistic about the future situation.

First of all, the age has stepped on the 35-year-old red line, and last year he was pregnant with a second child. Calculated in this way, it would be difficult for her to bear the cost of the two-child international school in the future. “You can’t have one child in an international school and one in a public school.”

Wang Ning is a little bit irritating that he chose an international school in the first place. What needs to be solved in an international school is the problem of money. A year’s tuition is cheaper than a hundred thousand yuan, and the not cheap is two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand yuan. For the ordinary middle class, this kind of gritted teeth to follow the path of the international school is obviously a gamble. However, there are still many factors that bother her when she transfers her child back to a public school. The biggest obstacle in front of her is the Beijing registered permanent residence.

According to Beijing’s college entrance examination policy, non-Beijing families who receive education in Beijing at most insist on returning to their hometown to continue studying in the third grade, and cannot stay in Beijing to take the college entrance examination. This also means that Wang Ning has no “Kyoto” family at present, and there is no possibility of becoming a “Kyoto” family in the future. Either continue to stay in the international school, or transfer back to a public school to the high school stage and return to the place where the registered permanent residence is. .

According to Yang Shuang’s understanding, in this wave of transfers, non-Beijing families studying in public schools are generally not very willing to transfer. Not to mention families with strong economic strength, and families with relatively weak economic strength and non-Beijing nationality have not many choices left. “Unless the Tianjin registered permanent residence is registered and it will be reserved for the Tianjin college entrance examination in the future, or the parents of many international schools are applying for the registered permanent residence in Haikou. Compared with Tibet, Xinjiang and other regions, Haikou has a good environment and has certain advantages in admissions for college entrance examinations. There, the advantages are outstanding,” Yang Shuang said.

But no matter what, there is not much window period left for Wang Ning’s parents who are waiting.

According to the new version of the “Administrative Measures for the Student Status of Primary and Secondary Schools in Beijing”, in principle, transfers are not allowed at the general high school level in this city. Transfer applications should generally be submitted one week before the winter and summer vacations. Generally, it takes no more than 10 working days to complete the transfer procedures. The first semester and graduation grade of the starting grade of elementary and secondary schools will not be accepted for transfer.

“As non-Beijing nationals are affected by factors such as returning to their hometown, the general family will start to arrange follow-up matters in the second and third grades. Therefore, for non-Beijing families in international schools, the fourth and fifth grades are the most suitable Time to transfer to another school”, this is also the experience that Wang Ning summed up after staying in various forums for a period of time.

A parent of Lecheng International School told reporters that not every family has to be transferred back to a public school. Integration is a big issue. The proportion of English in international schools is high, and there is a big gap between the relative language and other courses and public schools. In the competition with public schools for the “chicken baby route”, the families of international schools may not necessarily buy a school district house and get it right once and for all.

He said, “On the other hand, international schools with various resources still have many advantages in enlightening children’s international vision and linking up with the resources of prestigious schools. This still depends on the demands of parents, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.”

After school starts, Huang Peng’s child will soon enter the fifth grade of Xicheng Public School.

For Yang Shuang, if the house can be sold smoothly, if it is not restricted by the lock zone, the school district in Xicheng will be considered. If it is restricted by the school district, the school district in Chaoyang may be chosen, but no matter what, the extracurricular tutoring class will be It’s always a good choice to continue to read and enhance your children’s strength. Even if you end up in an international school to continue studying, you still have certain advantages.

(At the request of interviewees, Huang Peng, Yang Shuang, and Wang Ning are all pseudonyms in the article) This article comes from WeChat public account: Economic Observer (ID: eeo-com-cn) , author: Li Jing

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