What are Debentures?

  • Type of loan paid to schools in exchange for prioritising a student’s enrolment
  • The funds raised by the debentures becomes a part of the school’s capital structure which may be used to improve the school’s facilities or used in any way the school wants.
  • Some debentures are refundable, while some are not. Some schools reimburse and some debentures depreciate.
  • Many schools offer debentures but many are usually unavailable due to long waiting lists
  • Of over 50 international schools in Hong Kong, the only debentures sold on the second-hand market are from these four schools:
    • Chinese International School (CIS)
    • Harrow International School Hong Kong
    • The Independent Schools Foundation Academy (ISF)
    • Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA)
  • Contact us for more details 

Chinese International School (CIS)

Location: Braemar Hill, HK Island

Curriculum: MYP, IBDP

Ages: 4-18

Year Founded: 1983

Chinese Characters: Traditional/ Simplified

Harrow International School Hong Kong

Location: Tuen Mun, New Territories

Curriculum: British, IGCSE, A-Level

Ages: 3-18

Year Founded: 2012

Chinese Characters: Traditional/ Simplified

The Independent Schools Foundation Academy (ISF)

Location: Pok Fu Lam HK Island

Curriculum: MYP, IBDP

Ages: 3-18

Year Founded: 2003

Chinese Characters: Traditional

Victoria Shanghai                  Academy               (VSA)

Location: Aberdeen, HK Island

Curriculum: PYP, MYP, IBDP

Ages: 5-18

Year Founded: 2004

Chinese Characters: Traditional

Types of Debentures

Debentures come under a range of different forms and some schools introduce high value debentures to give different degrees of priority. Debentures only prioritises a child’s place on the waiting list, but do not guarantee a place.

Corporate Debenture/
Nomination Right/
Capital Certificate

Holder of a Corporate Debenture is entitled to nominate one child to the school at any one time. Some Corporate Debentures are transferable and refundable while others have a life span of a few years from the date of issue and will depreciate to zero over that period.

Individual Nomination Right

The Nomination Rights, usually non-refundable, gives students a prioritised entry to schools. The Nomination Right usually guarantees the chance of an interview and the place is subject to the student’s performance in the assessment. 

Foundation Certificate/ Debenture

When the nominated child leaves the school, a holder of a Foundation Certificate/ Debenture will be entitled to place another nominated child in the year of their choice, subject to the child satisfying the school’s admissions criteria.

Capital Note

A capital note is non-interest bearing, non-refundable and fully transferable.

Individual /Personal Debenture

It is only mandatory at some schools and all students have to be nominated under this debenture if they are not already nominated under another.

Capital Levy

For students without Capital Certificates or Debentures, there is an annual payment of the Capital Levy. The payment is non-interest bearing, non-refundable and non-transferable. The levy amount is reviewed each year. 

How much are Debentures?

They range from $25,000 to $10M for each child. For debentures that do not offer enrolment priority, some schools offer discounts for siblings or difficult financial situations.

If the school has sold out their own debentures, you may buy them on the second-hand market. The price is set by market demands and there may be a transfer fee paid to the school for each transaction. In addition, the transactions need to be approved by the school.

Admission Priority

Each school offers slightly different admission priorities to applicants provided that places are available and following a successful entrance assessment.

  • Debenture/ Foundation Certificate holders
  • Siblings currently attending the school
  • Citizens/ passport holders of certain countries, for example:
    • Australian International School (AISHK) – Australian or New Zealand nationals
    • Canadian International School (CDNIS) – Canadian nationals
    • French International School (FIS) – French or Swiss nationals
    • German Swiss International School (GSIS) – German, Swiss or Austrian nationals
  • Children of School Staff/ Faculty
  • Children of Alumni

Admissions Success

Our consultants have helped students gain offers from the following schools:

HK International Schools

Australian International School

Canadian International School 

Chinese International School

English Schools Foundation (ESF)

French International School

German Swiss International School

Harrow International School Hong Kong

Hong Kong International School

Independent Schools Foundation (ISF)

Kellett School

Singapore International School

The International Montessori School (IMS) 

Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA)

Yew Chung International School of Hong Kong

Complimentary Consultation

Contact us now to schedule a mock test and arrange a complimentary meeting with our dedicated Hong Kong international school specialists.