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Full house at home-grown International schools

3 homegrown schools hitting capacity and have to expand to increase enrolment

Published on Sep 9, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Homegrown international schools have been attracting a broad mix of students from all over the world, as seen here with ACS International students (from left) Shelby Ellis Goh, 17, from Singapore, Alicia Harris, 16, from Scotland, Megan Loke, 17, from Singapore, Danny Christian, 17, from Indonesia and Lucy Macmaster, 15, from Scotland. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Three home-grown international schools are nearly full and planning to expand to take in more students, both Singaporeans and foreigners.

It has been just five to seven years since they opened, but Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) International, Hwa Chong International and St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International have begun turning away students and have growing waiting lists.

All three expect to hit capacity by next year and will have to build more classrooms if they want to increase enrolment.

Every first Friday of the month, Hwa Chong International conducts entrance tests for about 40 foreign students, mostly from China. Only one-third of applicants get places.

 
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Background story

GROWING POPULARITY

The three schools are privately funded but come under the Ministry of Education. They offer a Singapore-style alternative to the international schools by following the bilingual education policy, maintaining a balance of Singaporeans and foreigners, and a mix of local and expatriate teachers.

They have the autonomy to design their own curriculum, and all three offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) at Secondary 4 and the International Baccalaureate diploma at pre-university level.

They also set class size in the range of 25 to 30. They charge fees of about $20,000 a year, just under what the established international schools here charge.

Anglo-Chinese School (International)

Started: In 2005 with 150 students.

Current enrolment: 915; maximum is 930. Singaporean students make up 45 per cent and the PSLE cut-off is 200. Foreign students are mainly from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Fees: $21,935 to $24,610 a year.

 

Hwa Chong International

Started: In 2005 with 85 students.

Current enrolment: About 600; maximum enrolment is 650. Singapore students make up half its students and need a PSLE score of at least 200 and must clear an interview. Foreign students are mainly from China, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Fees: $19,260 to $21,828.

 

St Joseph's Institution (International)

Started: In 2007 with 200 students.

Current enrolment: 790; maximum is 850. Singapore students make up 65 per cent of its enrolment and the PSLE cut-off is 225. Foreign students come mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Fees: $19,998 to $23,433.

 

Jane Ng