Affordable fees to drive international schools market growth, says report

ISC Research said more affordable fees in international schools will increase overall demand and ensure a diverse student population

Affordable fee levels will drive the majority of growth in the international schools market, according to a new report from ISC Research.

The organisation has published its Global Opportunities Report for 2020, identifying the most notable shifts in the sector.

“As families seek more affordable education options, and as schools feel the pressures of operating in an increasingly competitive market, growth will be driven by schools’ capacity to provide quality, affordable education using multiple learning options and platforms,” the report stated.

“This introduces a much larger population to international education, not only increasing overall demand, but also acting to ensure quality provision and a diverse student population.”

As families seek more affordable education options, and as schools feel the pressures of operating in an increasingly competitive market, growth will be driven by schools’ capacity to provide quality, affordable education using multiple learning options and platforms – ISC Research, Global Opportunities Report 2020

ISC Research’s data shows that the market has continued to expand. By July 2020, there were 11,616 international schools globally, all of which are delivering an international curriculum in English, or partly in English, to children.

Most international schools remain day schools and 13% of the market offer boarding. The data shows 1.15% of the international schools market are sister schools of foreign independent schools or affiliated with a foreign independent school brand through a management or service agreement. This sector of the market is being led by British brands.

The report also suggests healthy growth of the international schools market in light of the global pandemic. It states that international schools demonstrated “resilience and adaptability” in the face of campus closures, with many schools “quickly” extending blended learning provision or introducing distance learning.

This capacity to provide reliable education during times of crisis “is a recurring characteristic of the market which is likely to be recognised by more families in the future,” the report said.

Asia leads the world for the number of international schools and students enrolled in international education. The report indicates that, for the past five years, enrolment throughout Asia has continually increased.

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