Examining international school growth in Asia at the IPSEF conference

A recent report by ISC Research shows that the number of international schools in East Asia has grown by 32 per cent in four years. In Southeast Asia the figure rises to 39 per cent over the same time period.

Examining international school growth in Asia at the IPSEF conference
Southeast Asian nations dominate the list of countries with the most number of premium, English-medium international schools in the greater East Asia region, according to the latest report published by the International Schools Council (ISC) Research.The report shows that China still has the greatest number of international schools, more than double the number of international schools in Japan, which is second in the rankings.

Number of premium, English-medium international schools in East and Southeast Asian countries:

RankCountryNumber of International Schools
5Hong Kong177
10South Korea93
The data was released by ISC Research ahead of the forthcoming International Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) conference on March 22-24 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. The conference is Asia’s leading education conference for the private and international schools sector.IPSEF co-founder Rhona Greenhill, said that East Asia has seen growth from 828 to 1,125 international schools in four years, an increase of 32 per cent; whilst Southeast Asia has recorded 39 per cent growth, from 725 to 1008 international schools over the same period.“We see a lot of growth potential in this part of the world for private and international schools mainly as a result of the continued growth of the economies in East and Southeast Asia. This is why we have gathered some of the world’s leading experts to present insights on the development prospects as well as challenges confronting the education sector in the region, to enable stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities and hopefully mitigate the risks,” Greenhill explained.The continued growth of international schools in Asia also underscores the region’s continuing quest to be on a par with the rest of the world.
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Across the Southeast Asian region, student enrollment in international schools has gone up by 33.9 per cent in the last four years, with Malaysia and Thailand leading the pack. China continues to dominate the whole of East and Southeast Asia, however, with 234,424 students enrolling in premium English-medium international schools, nearly four times as many as Hong Kong, which is second in the rankings. 

Countries in East and Southeast Asia with highest number of student enrollment in premium, English-medium international schools: 

RankCountryStudent Enrollment
2Hong Kong79,853
9South Korea31,201


Sami Yosef, head of South East Asia research at ISC Research, will present the very latest data and intelligence on the developments and opportunities for international school investment in East and Southeast Asia at the conference. He will announce more country-specific data and intelligence at IPSEF.South Africa’s Curro Group will also be presenting various models for developing low-cost, yet high quality education fit for emerging markets in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar.Teacher recruitment will also be a key issue at the conference, as recruiting top talent has always been a great challenge for many international schools, with key presentations on teacher retention and global recruitment and placement of teachers.Further information on the conference programme and registration details may be obtained from www.ipsef.net.For related news and features, visit our Education and Schools section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit

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