We ask interested operators to meet a specific set of requirements before starting an international school with a view to maintaining education standard and ensuring quality of international schools.

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Set up a school

To maintain education standard and ensure the quality of international schools operating in Hong Kong, applications for establishment of an international school would need to undergo a vigorous scrutiny process and meet a specific set of requirements. This section does not apply to applications for the School Allocation Exercise, which has its own set of requirements and procedures, though both share the same objective.


“International schools” is an administrative categorisation to describe a group of schools within the private school sector. Some schools are first set up as a private school before being recognized as an international school. There is no significant difference between a private school and an international school as far as access to Government assistance is concerned. For example, both groups of schools may participate in the School Allocation Exercise for international school development subject to them meeting the mandatory requirements.


Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) is the HKSAR Government Department responsible for Foreign Direct Investment. InvestHK has education sector specialists who work with overseas and Mainland clients on an ongoing basis to help them set up smoothly in Hong Kong. The Department’s services are free, customised and confidential, and they range from office location, government liaison, business facilitation to networking, manpower and visa issues as well as PR and marketing. To learn more about InvestHK and its services, please visit


Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels to convey Hong Kong's advantages to businesses overseas.