Expatica news

International schools reach 6,000

There are now 6,000 English-medium international schools throughout the world. It is a market that has been growing significantly in recent years, as a result of increased mobility by expatriate families and a dramatic rise in the number of local children attending international schools as a route to improved educational opportunities.

The news comes from ISC Research, the organisation that analyses data on international schools worldwide. The figure refers to the total number of English-medium international schools that deliver their curriculum wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country. ISC Research anticipates this number will continue to rise to 10,000 international schools by 2021, teaching a total of 5.7million students and employing 545,000 English-speaking staff.

"The international schools market has doubled in size in the last ten years and will undoubtedly continue its dramatic growth over the next ten years," says Nicholas Brummitt, Managing Director of ISC Research Ltd. " The greatest demand is coming from increasingly wealthy families in Asia, including the Middle East, wanting an English-medium education for their children. Almost two thirds of the growth in schools and student numbers continues to be in this area."

There is an acute shortage of international school places in some areas, particularly Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. As a result, a number of countries are actively encouraging the growth of international schools including China, India, Malaysia, Korea, and the UAE.

"The future will be dominated by for-profit international schools, bilingual to varying degrees, located in residential communities, with more of an emphasis on local language and culture but at the same time increasingly international in terms of curriculum and outlook, albeit with a British or other national orientation and style," says Nicholas Brummitt.  "This huge growth will increase competition for the best opportunities, the best teachers and the best students."

ISC Research is the only organisation that supplies data and market analyses covering the world’s English-medium international schools; data that it has been tracking for over twenty years. The latest market updates plus individual school information, news, statistical overviews, and country reports are all available from ISC Research www.iscresearch.com

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/mikecogh