Short answer: Some Chinese families.
Private education isn’t supposed to be cheap, especially if you’re looking at a foreign curriculum in an international environment. Foreigners on expat packages might wonder at the high costs, but they have the luxury of shrugging it off and thanking their employers for footing the bill. While there are foreigners who fork out for the tuition themselves, teary as they wave goodbye to their hard earned kuais, the real mystery are the locals.
Although most locals cannot enroll their children in a foreign-passport only academy, there are still those who can. Plenty of not-so-international “international” schools also accept Chinese nationals and are often filled with local students with the occasional poster-child foreign kid who came with the staff. But don’t look down on them yet! Those schools cost just as much as the big players!
How is it possible? Well, everyone knows that the higher the price tag, the better the quality–or is that a culture specific myth? Whether the truth, or merely a marketing tactic, the not-so-international “international” schools sure are popular. They’re expensive; they’re located far outside the city; and yet Chinese parents are spending serious money to get their kids prepped and tested to enter them. They even have waiting lists!
Why, oh why would they bother?
According to Global Times, Chinese parents have begun to see the merits of Western education (in everything but math). Modern, new generation parents lament their past school lives and want to provide their children with both improved experiences and better opportunities. Read more about their interviews from the original source.
Photo: Flickr (Chris Betcher)