Bay area boost from Qianhai zone, Shenzhen school

Shenzhen Hong Kong Pui Kiu College Longhua Xinyi School has admitted 1,200 students in its first year, with Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor saying it provides another choice for youngsters in the Greater Bay Area.

Among the students about 1,000 are Hong Kong students and the rest are mainlanders. And 80 teachers are from Hong Kong.

The number of students showed the school is popular with Hong Kong parents who live and work in the mainland, Lam said at its inauguration ceremony yesterday.

And it “enriched the choice of schools for children whose parents are in the Greater Bay Area,” she added. “Apart from studying the Hong Kong curriculum, students can also understand the country’s latest developments closely and have more opportunities for exchanges with young people in the Greater Bay Area.

“They will definitely become young talents with a sense of national identity and an affection for Hong Kong.”

Lam said the SAR administration encourages and supports school sponsoring bodies and tertiary institutions in Hong Kong to integrate into Greater Bay Area development.

The new campus covers 45,000 square meters and provides about 3,000 places for primary, junior and senior secondary students.

Students can study for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education or the mainland curriculum for the national college entrance exam. It also offers curriculums for other international examinations.

Construction of the school campus began in March and the first teaching building was completed within six months.

The school is near Shenzhenbei railway station and it takes only 19 minutes to Hong Kong West Kowloon station by high-speed rail.

The ceremony was part of Lam’s Shenzhen trip yesterday when she led a delegation of 18 officials, including Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu. They returned to Hong Kong last night. Mainland authorities also announced yesterday that the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone will be expanded from 14.9 square kilometers to 120.5.

According to a development plan, financial companies will be allowed to provide cross-border securities investment services in the zone. And international insurance firms can offer services to Chinese-invested companies’ overseas business activities.

Hong Kong and Macau hospitals will also be allowed to set up branches in the zone while their universities and those of other countries can set up campuses in the area to provide education for youngsters from the two SARs.

Meanwhile, the University of Hong Kong will establish a new campus in Shi Bi Long in Shenzhen’s Nanshan. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Shenzhen yesterday, aiming to build a “world-class comprehensive research-led university to nurture talent and contribute to the region and the world.”

Lam welcomed that plan, saying the Qianhai cooperation zone, which was developed some 10 years ago, has attracted many Hong Kong companies.

“Currently, about 11,500 Hong Kong-invested enterprises have registered in Qianhai,” she said, noting that most were in service industries including finance, logistics, information, technology and professional services. Lam said it “gives full play to the SAR’s long-held advantages in high-end professional services and elevates the function of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone.”

And the zone promotes the long-term development of Hong Kong professional services.

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