Moving Out Of Hong Kong? Top Countries for School Migration

As admissions and education consultants, we’ve noticed a significant trend in the past few years. More families are considering school migration, looking to move their children’s education away from Hong Kong and into international destinations. This trend may be due to various factors, such as a desire for different educational experiences, or simply the aspiration for a new lifestyle.

In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore the top countries that have become popular destinations for school migration from Hong Kong.

Australia: A Favorite for Hong Kong Students

Australia has consistently been a popular destination for Hong Kong emigrants. Historical data shows that the number of Hong Kong-born people in the country doubled between 1985 and 1991. Today, Australia is the second-largest source of Hong Kong emigrants after Britain.

Moreover, Australia has seen an 11% increase in student visas issued to Hong Kong students, indicating a sustained interest. Australia’s appeal lies in its high-quality education system, diverse cultural experiences, and relaxed lifestyle. The country offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from prestigious universities to vocational education and training courses. Moreover, Australia’s multicultural society gives students a chance to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, thereby enhancing their global perspective.

Canada: An Upcoming Favorite

In recent years, Canada has seen a remarkable increase in the number of study permits issued to students from Hong Kong. The latest statistics indicate that this number has risen to 7,920 permits, a significant increase from the approximately 6,300 issued the previous year. This surge in interest is partly due to Canada’s expedited pathway for Hong Kong residents to receive permanent residency after graduating from a designated post-secondary program, a policy that will remain in place until 2026.

Once seen as the least popular among the top four destinations for Hongkongers, Canada has now moved up to the second spot. The country’s easier terms for permanent residency, requiring only a two-year diploma course, have made it a highly attractive option. Furthermore, Canada’s reputation for having a high standard of living, coupled with its strong educational institutions, multicultural environment, and safe communities, is an appealing combination for many Hong Kong families.

New Zealand: Quality Education in a Serene Setting

While New Zealand may not be as prominently featured in the statistics as other countries, it has a lot to offer. With its high-quality education system, peaceful environment, and friendly immigration policies, New Zealand is an appealing choice for Hong Kong families looking for a balanced lifestyle and education for their children.

New Zealand’s education system is well-respected globally and offers a balance between academics and extracurricular activities. The country’s small class sizes allow for personalized attention, and there’s a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving in the curriculum. In addition, New Zealand’s stunning natural environment makes it an ideal location for outdoor activities and exploration, offering students a unique combination of learning and adventure.

Malaysia: An Emerging Destination

Malaysia is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Hong Kong students due to its proximity, cultural similarities, and competitive education costs. Its education system is robust, with a number of reputable international schools and universities that offer internationally recognized programs.

Furthermore, because Malaysia is geographically closer to Hong Kong compared to other destinations like Canada and Australia, it’s easier for students to travel back and forth, especially during holidays. The cultural similarities between Malaysia and Hong Kong also make it a comfortable transition for Hong Kong families seeking a new educational environment.

Other notable countries:

There are more options to explore, so let’s delve into other notable destinations for school migration.

Singapore: The Tropical Oasis

Singapore’s strong educational system and aggressive marketing campaigns have made it a top relocation spot for Hong Kong families. The city-state’s blend of Eastern and Western educational philosophies, along with its high standard of living, continues to attract Hong Kong residents.

Singapore’s education system is highly competitive, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence. It’s also known for its bilingual policy, where students are taught in English but also required to learn a second language, typically their mother tongue. This bilingual approach prepares students well for a globalized world.

United Kingdom: A Longstanding Preference

The UK remains a top destination for Hong Kong students, with 25.8% choosing it for their studies. The British National (Overseas) Visa scheme has made migration easier for Hongkongers, even without the requirement to study in the country.

The UK’s prestigious universities, along with its rich history and culture, continue to draw students from around the world. The country’s educational system is renowned for fostering critical thinking and creativity, skills that are highly valued in today’s global economy.

United States: The Land of Opportunities

The United States continues to be a prime destination for Hong Kong students, with a strong demand for fields such as innovation and technology. U.S. boarding schools and education technology companies also see significant opportunities in the Hong Kong market .

The U.S. is home to some of the world’s top universities and offers a diverse range of educational opportunities. The country’s innovation and entrepreneurship culture also make it an attractive destination for students interested in these fields.

Taiwan and Mainland China: Closer to Home

An increasing proportion of Hong Kong students are choosing to study in Mainland China and Taiwan, where tuition fees and living costs are lower. The importance of Mandarin in Hong Kong’s future career landscape is also a factor in this shift.

Dubai: The New Hub

Dubai has emerged as a new hub for talent from Hong Kong, with major companies relocating staff to the city. Its strategic location and growing economy make it an attractive destination for professionals and their families.


For Hong Kong families considering school migration, there are numerous options across the globe. Canada’s welcoming immigration policies, Australia’s consistent appeal, New Zealand’s serene environment, and Malaysia’s emerging educational opportunities are just a few of the choices available. Each country offers unique advantages, and the decision will depend on the family’s priorities, whether they are educational quality, lifestyle, or future career prospects.

As education consultants in Hong Kong, it’s essential we provide families with comprehensive information on the various educational pathways and to assist them in finding the right fit for their children’s needs. The world is indeed their oyster, and with the right guidance, Hong Kong students can find their place in the global educational landscape.

If you’re looking for the best fit of schools around Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand or Canada – our educational consultant Jessica Yuen has over 9 years of experience in helping families find the right educational journeys for their children. You can shoot us a message here.

We provide families with an all-in-one solution for migration and admissions consultancy.

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