British international schools abroad overrun by local students

Published:  25 Mar at 6 PM
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International schools across the world, started for the purpose of teaching expat children a British curriculum, are now being overrun by local students.

A recent study has revealed that some 80 per cent of places in overseas international schools are being grabbed by wealthy local people for their children. Expat families living and working overseas are gradually losing out on the chance to standardise their kids’ education in preparation for their return to UK schooling.

Increasing growth in the market is noted in the Middle East and Asia, with consultants in the sector saying that over three and a half million children are being educated in English in some 7,000 international schools worldwide. The Arab state are well represented with 429 schools, with China in the race at 417 and India with 350.

Specific growth markets include Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil, and Dubai has 60 additional international schools planned for the near future. Rising middle class incomes in developing countries are resulting in higher demand for places by local parents, but increasing take-ups are threatening the English language education opportunities for British children temporarily living abroad due to their parents’ jobs.

At the same time, overseas employment packages for expats are shrinking, and costs in most destinations are rising. A few countries including Singapore do not allow local children to join international schools but Malaysia has recently lifted a similar ban.

Most expat employment hubs in the Middle East and Asia have a lower standard of general education, conducted in the local language and tailored to a different standard and culture. Should British youngsters not be able secure places in international schools, their future education back in the UK would be under threat.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Maha Thomson wrote 10 years ago:

I cannot confirm or agree to the above blog certainly not for Cairo or Riyadh. There are schools where the priority for admission goes to British children, then diplomats of any nationality. There are standards to be met, hence Englsh has to be the first or well spoken language. Thanks

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