Samuel Chan is a well known name amongst parents in Hong Kong. Why? Because he’s the name behind education consultancy Britannia Studylink, one of Hong Kong’s busiest and fastest growing start-up companies. Established in 2013, the company has attracted attention from various funds looking to tap into its growth and has won numerous awards, including Hong Kong Brand Development Council’s 2017 Top Service Brand Award as well as the 2019 Premier Hong Kong Brand Award, becoming the first education centre to achieve this.
Coming from a humble background and ironically not performing very outstandingly in his educational years in Hong Kong, Chan attended a summer camp in the U.K. at the young age of nine which proved to be a pivotal moment in his life. Opening his eyes to the differences between the attitudes and systems in education between Hong Kong and the U.K., and setting the momentum for the rest of his academic career in the U.K., the young entrepreneur attended Gresham’s school and then went on to study at the University of Nottingham and University of Warwick.
Previously, school selection for residents of Hong Kong has been very transactional, with very little efforts put towards finding the right school for each child. Chan decided instead to educate parents by discussing topics that weren’t previously talked about, such as why they should look beyond league tables before applications and what questions should be asked when school shopping. The market in turn responded very positively – parents’ attitudes towards education changed with the establishment of his company, resulting in the development of Britannia Studylink from a one man band sending a dozen of kids to school in the U.K. to what it is now — two offices in Hong Kong working to send over 800 pupils to the U.K. each year, making up almost half of the Hong Kong market.
What brings him the most satisfaction, however, is not helping students get into the best universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, but rather helping pupils that were perhaps a bit like him when he was a boy, discouraged by the education system in Hong Kong.