Brummitt finally points out that, “the growing trend to send local children to international schools is based on the quality of teaching and learning that many of these schools provide, coupled with an understanding by local wealthier families of the value of an English-medium education”.
Thus the market for bilingual international schools meets the becoming stronger expectation of parents in search for their child to an excellent local learning combined with the mastery of the English language. Since the stresses of working life and future perspectives (high unemployment, particularly for young people, that concern parents) require finding solutions to help children in their education, to prepare them for the world of tomorrow.
Despite the crisis, parents are always willing to spend to provide education and quality activities for their children. This anxiety is reflected in the concern for the success that parents have for their progeny.
Thus, the market for bilingual international schools meet the increasing expectation of parents in search of quality teaching combined with the mastery of the English language in the community.
The stresses of work life and future perspectives (high unemployment, particularly for young people, a concern for parents) require finding solutions to aid children in their education and to prepare them for the world of tomorrow. This anxiety is reflected in the concern for the success that parents have for their children.
Despite the crisis, parents are ready to invest to ensure quality education and activities for their children.
We hear from ISC Research about how international schools are becoming more attractive to local families
There has been phenomenal growth in the international schools market in the past ten years and that growth looks certain to continue for the next ten years.
Since 2002, the number of students in international schools has tripled from one million to just over three million today. One of the main reasons for this growth is that the demographic of the typical international school student has changed during this time. According to research produced by ISC Research, part of the International School Consultancy Group, ten years ago the typical international school student was from an expatriate family. Today, that student is from a local family.
“The number of expatriate children attending international schools has not decreased, indeed there are many more,” says Nicholas Brummitt, managing director of the International School Consultancy Group. “But what has changed is the recognition by local families that international schools are a means of advancing to further education at some of the world’s best universities.”
It is this recognition, coupled with increased income, that is making attendance at an international school a real possibility for wealthier local families. So much so that today 80% of all students at international schools are local children.
In a number of cities, this demand from both expat and local families is outstripping supply. Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha all have significant problems. To such an extent that many relocating expats with families are now demanding security of their school places before accepting new placements. In certain locations, it is the availability of good school places that is driving job decisions by expats rather than salaries and destinations. As a result of this demand, a number of countries are actively encouraging the growth of international schools, including China, India, Malaysia, Korea, and the UAE.
The International School Consultancy Group, which researches and analyses data on international schools worldwide, predicts that the number of students in international schools will reach six million within ten years. It expects the number of international schools to increase from 6000 today to 10,000.
Mr Brummitt says: “The international school market has become big business. There are now a number of highly respected, multinational groups of schools driving growth forward. There are also schools with campuses in several countries. This includes a number of British private schools with international operations such as Harrow (located in Beijing and Bangkok and with a third school in Hong Kong opening in September this year) and Dulwich which has schools in China and is opening several more in Asia over the next few years.”
The market going forward is expected to be dominated by for-profit international schools which will be bilingual to varying degrees with more of an emphasis on local language and culture but, at the same time, increasingly international in terms of curriculum and outlook.
“This continued growth will increase competition for the best teachers as well as the best students,” says Mr Brummitt. “Location, standards, facilities, USP and good marketing, along with salaries for teachers and fees for students, will all play a crucial part in the success of every school going forward.”
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 20 years. The latest market updates plus individual school information, news, statistical overviews, and country reports are all available from www.iscresearch.com