Elite boarding schools with superb facilities are mushrooming across Japan. The second-generation wealthy from China is the target of these prestigious international schools as they try to attract students from Asian households.

According to Bloomberg, British aristocratic schools Harrow, Rugby, and Malvern College in Japan are scheduled to enroll 3,000 students in the next few years. The most extensive expansion for international students coming to Japan since 2018.

These schools wager that their low COVID-19 infection rates and fewer restrictions in Japan will allow them to surpass mainland schools despite charging over $68,000 for a year’s tuition.

Since the outbreak, China has implemented severe lockdowns and taken harsh measures against private education. Mick Farley, the new principal of Harrow International School, said, “Education services in China have become complicated, with international and bilingual schools being affected by more regulation and control.” His school is seeking prospects outside of China as a result. Farley anticipates that many first-year students will be students from the mainland.

According to ISC Research, mainland authorities have cracked down on extravagant schooling through school name changes, foreign textbook bans, and strict regulations.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government provided tax benefits, simplifying the setting up a local office and obtaining a visa, finding land, and operational cost subsidies and loans to entice private schools.

Due to the pandemic in China and lockdowns, most wealthy Chinese elite opts to immigrate to other countries.

Farley said Harrow has successfully attracted Chinese parents from the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

A mainland father who gave up immigrating his family to Singapore and chose Japan instead said: “It worked out so well for our family. My friends in China are envious that my kids got into Harrow. Japan is close, culturally similar, and safe, so it’s really attractive for the wealthy class in China, who are all eager to send children abroad to study.” He is also planning to buy a house near Harrow’s campus to make visits easier.

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