Sign up

Have some pie!

Rise of international schools generating US$36bn in fees

The international schools market is booming and in 2013-2014 the number of students attending international schools increased by 8.4% to 3.6 million, generating annual tuition fee income of US$ 36 billion, according to an International School Consultancy Group (ISC) 2014 Global Report.

Students at Blyth Academy, a leading international school in Canada. Photo: Blyth Academy

“The future will not only be about growth of international schools, but also maintenance of high standards"

Asia is the fastest growing market, boasting 3,837 international schools teaching 2,200,000 students and generating US$ 18,908 million of the world’s total fee income. Europe has also grown to host 1,530 international schools.

Asia is the fastest growing market, with 3,837 international schools teaching 2,200,000 students

Notable growth countries are UAE, which has 439 international schools, China with 421 schools, Hong Kong with 176 schools and Qatar with 130 schools. Future growth is predicted in East Asia, Gulf countries and also South America.

Chairman of ISC Nicholas Brummitt told The PIE News: “The growth of international schools in most countries is largely being driven by the richest 5% of non-English-speaking parents who are looking for places for their children at international schools in their home countries.”

“This is based upon the wide acceptance that a student who attends an international school, with its English-speaking education and typically high standards of teaching, has access to a much wider choice of higher education including universities all over the world, particularly in the US and UK,” explained Brummitt.

Expat communities continue to drive a high proportion of the demand and the top expatriate student nationalities studying at premium leading international schools across the world are American, British, Indian, South Korean and Chinese.

Top local student nationalities studying at the premium leading international schools around the world are Thai, Kuwaiti, Mexican, Emirati and Spanish.

While the rate of growth is impressive, the report also warns that the international schools market will increasingly be subject to government regulation regarding standards. Accreditation by at least one specified agency is already mandatory in some markets including China, Dubai and Qatar.

The ability to recruit IB-qualified or UK and USA curriculum-qualified Anglophone teachers prepared to move away from their home countries is becoming tougher

“The future will not only be about growth of international schools, but also maintenance of high standards,” confirmed Brummitt.

Government restrictions likely to affect the development of the international school market include limits on enrolment of local children, control over tuition fees, staff employment legislation, land and planning constraints and ownership of schools.

“When such restrictions are amended, market changes can often be significant as we’ve witnessed recently in Malaysia,” revealed Brummitt.

As the demand continues to grow, the ability to recruit IB-qualified or UK and USA curriculum-qualified Anglophone teachers prepared to move away from their home countries is becoming tougher, with many international schools offering higher salaries and incentives than teachers could earn in their home countries.

Another trend that has emerged from the report is the emergence of bilingual schools and international streams within national schools being formed.

ISC currently has 220 future schools in its system that are either in planning stages or under construction, and it predicts that within five years there will be over five million students studying at international schools across the globe.

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

11 Responses to Rise of international schools generating US$36bn in fees

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.
PIE Live North America

Book your tickets now - 28-29 March,2023
The Brewery, London, UK

Register here