International Schools Grow In Demand Across The World
International schools started sometime in the early 1920s, as a way for expatriates and diplomats to ensure their children could get a Western education whilst in far-flung counties.
Now, in the past 20 years, international schools have seen a boom in demand, with exponential growth over the time period, resulting in the abundance of Ascot Kindergarten for Internationals and other similar institutions popping up across the world, aimed at the wealthier locals who enroll their kids for the western curriculum as well as a shot at the prestigious western colleges, aimed at ensuring the greatest chances for employment in multinational companies.
This shift has lead to increased opportunities abroad for American teachers, among others. Of course, this also means increased competition for employment, as English-fluent cosmopolitan youth flaunt their international education across the job market.
Across the world, teachers from the US, the UK and other English-speaking countries are being called upon to countries in Asia, or the Middle East to teach the kids of the more financially capable families.
According to Bruce McWilliams, Executive VP of the New Jersey-based International School Services, the majority of the world wants an education and fluency in English, which is widely regarded as the world’s lingua franca.
UK-based ISC Research’s data says there were about 1,000 international schools across the globe 20 years ago, before the boom of Ascot Kindergarten for Internationals and other similar institutions, which accommodated the children of expat families. Now, there are at least 8,000 international schools littered across the globe, accommodating an approximate 4.5M students, 80% of which are from the school’s host country.
Additionally, the ISC says that demand is still on the rise, predicting the total to double to at least 16,000 schools within the next 10 years, with an estimated enrolee number of 8.75M students worldwide.
The UAE and China have the most international schools, both approximating at 550 educational institutions, but places like Thailand, India, and Bahrain are also seeing increases.
Thanks to the exponential growth in demand, more than 20 cities across the globe posses at least 50 international schools to accommodate for the demand for western learning. Included in these cities are places like Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok, among others.
The globalization of education is seen by some as a positive force, as different students from different cultures can all communicate in English, whilst some say that this leads to those unable to acquire an education in English to learn or get shut out.