(Japanese below)

Dear HIS Community

In today’s message, which will be a bit longer than usual, I will announce the tuition decision made by the Board of Directors in April 2018. Before I make this announcement, I have a short explanation about finances at HIS and please make sure you have read the HIS Annual Report 20162017 from last year. This document is in English and Japanese. I will try to keep this as brief as possible.

In order to understand HIS finances, we can look at a pattern of enrolments over the last four years. We have two types of fees at HIS, private and corporate. The important part of this structure is that corporate tuition is approximately 1,000,000 yen higher than private tuition. We are the only international school in Japan that does this. Just to add some context, there are 27 accredited international schools in Japan. If I was to list them all from most expensive tuition to least expensive tuition, where would HIS be? The answer is that our corporate fees would be in a cluster of schools at the upper end of the list and our private fees would be at the other end, second from the bottom. The private fees are so far down the list, only because the corporate fees are so far up the list. This is good to keep in mind.

For 40 years, the HIS tuition structure has used a model of financial assistance, where corporate tuition has been used to subsidize private tuition, a model originating in the Ford days to enable access to HIS to non-Ford families. This system works well as long as there are many corporate students to subsidize the private students. But what happens when this context changes? What happens when the corporate students are replaced with private students? Remember that corporate students receive no additional benefit so that operating costs do not change, regardless of the breakdown of corporate/private enrolments.

In 2007, the relationship between Ford and HIS came to a close with the bulk of corporate students leaving. Look at the bottom of page 11 of the HIS Annual Report to see what happened to HIS finances at this time. There are seven years of heavy deficits, the red numbers totaling approximately 170,000,000 yen during this period. We don’t like those red numbers. If this trend had continued into 2013/2014, HIS would have experienced extremely serious financial difficulty during 2014/2015 as reserves would have been completely exhausted. This is very recent history.

Fortunately, however, a decision had been made in a far-away land to set up an electronics manufacturing plant nearby. The surplus you can see in 2013-2016 is due to our favorite company, Micron, who saved HIS with a large number of corporate fee-paying students entering over this three year period. This surplus boosted our financial reserves to 2007/2008 levels. We have a lot for which to thank Micron.

However, the large number of Micron families was always going to be temporary over this 3-year period. Once again we saw numbers of corporate students decline from 2014/2015 which means that the subsidy available to private students from the corporate tuition was also declining. You can do the Math yourself as you know that each corporate student pays an extra 1,000,000 yen.

This is a snapshot of corporate numbers over the four years:

March 2015  – 45 corporate students

March 2016 – 33 corporate students

March 2017 – 21 corporate students

March 2018 – 16 corporate students

During these four years, we experienced a decline of 29 corporate students, even though our total student number has not changed that much. We have 155 students now. We also had 155 students in March 2015. This equates to approximately 29,000,000 yen less in revenue without any change in our operating expenses, just because the makeup of the student body shifted.

Last year, private tuition was increased by 3% generating an increase in revenue of just over 4,200,000 yen. As you can see, however, we experienced a decline in corporate student numbers of 5 students. This equates to a loss of 5,000,000 yen in the subsidy available for private students. I have been asked many times, what happened with the extra revenue from the 3% tuition increase last year. The answer to that question is that the increase in revenue from the tuition rise was less than the decrease in subsidy from the drop in corporate enrolment. If this makes sense to you then you are well on the way to understanding current finances at HIS. We have raised tuition as a step on the road to financial sustainability.

We made a deficit last year of over 3,000,000 yen. Remember that any deficit depletes our reserves, which is not sustainable. This year we are forecasting a slight surplus (approximately 2,700,000 yen) due to strong enrolment in the later part of the year and this means that we are going in the right direction. This is great news.

HIS is gradually shifting its financial model – not by choice but because we no longer have a major source of corporate students. With the number of students we predict for next year (corporate & private) we require a 5% tuition increase across both private and corporate students in order to balance the budget.

The good news is that we have nearly weaned ourselves off our dependence on the corporate subsidy for private fee-paying students – not completely, but we are nearly there. Currently, we have 19 corporate students spread across a number of companies and Micron is still our largest corporate friend. With our current smaller corporate numbers we are no longer so vulnerable to future fluctuations – remember the post-Ford deficit years that nearly ruined us. This was not very long ago.

What all this means is that enrolment is not our major problem in terms of finances at HIS. We are currently full in our primary with waiting lists on a number of classes and with some larger classes in secondary as well. Our numbers are relatively strong, however, we need to ensure that our private tuition enables us to operate in a sustainable way. We all have a responsibility to our current students, but also to future students. HIS has been here for over 50 years and we will make sure that we are here for another 50 years.

That was a lot of information and a longer message than usual. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind regards

Damian Rentoule (Principal)


本日のメッセージ(通常より少し長くなっています)では、2018年4月に理事会で決定された来年度の学費についてお知らせ致します。その前に、まずはHISの財政ついて少し説明させて頂きたいと思います。そして、昨年度のHIS年次レポートHIS Annual Report 20162017を必ずご一読下さい。これは英語と日本語の両方で書かれています。







2015年3月 45名

2016年3月 33名

2017年3月 21名

2018年3月 16名








校長 ダミアン・レンチュール

Finances at HIS & Tuition for 2018/2019