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Singapore auctions land for foreign schools

Foreign school providers keen to establish themselves in Singapore’s booming international school market have a rare chance to bid for land through the Economic Development Board.

Photo: Erwin Soo

Singapore currently has 83 English-medium international schools

The EBD, the agency that controls all land that can be zoned for K-12 international school use, launched the request for interest exercise today for a number of land parcels each with 30-year leases available for foreign system schools which cater almost exclusively to children of international executives.

“Foreign system schools play a part in strengthening Singapore’s position as an attractive global city and home for business”

“Availability of quality schools for children of international executives is a key consideration when they decide on a posting location,” said Alvin Tan, the EDB’s assistant managing director and chair of the inter-agency request for interest committee.

“Foreign system schools play a part in strengthening Singapore’s position as an attractive global city and home for business.”

International School Consultancy research shows Singapore currently has 83 English-medium international schools and kindergartens, employing 5,667 full time staff and teaching 58,785 students

According to ISC, local citizens are not allowed to attend international schools at primary level in Singapore. Demand for places is therefore linked to the size of the expatriate community.

The government maintains tight control of the international schools sector, and releases land for school development only when it foresees sufficient demand for places.

“This announcement and the opportunities it will generate will come as excellent news for the international business community,” commented Nicholas Brummitt, chairman of the ISC.

Tender information will be available until June 5 while proposals must be sent by August 5.

The EDB has said applicants will be evaluated on their quality of the proposal, the track record of the foreign system school, its ability to meet market demand as well as its financial standing.

The EBD introduced the request for interest process in 2008 to create competition among FSS to obtain long-term sites.

It says the exercise allows new entrants into the market or proves opportunities for existing FSS to invest in longer-term leases.

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