Asian international schools now concentrating on affordable quality education

Asian international schools now concentrating on affordable quality education

Asian international schools now concentrating on affordable quality education

Expat professionals relocating to Asia are forced to accept the new order of diminished allowances and less perks.

Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, being an expat employed in Asia by a multinational corporation meant housing allowances, help with international school fees and a good number of other tempting perks including the ability to save a sizeable nest egg whilst living the high life. Sadly, a combination of of the financial crash and the withdrawal from the region of a number of major oil and gas companies has meant the good old days are definitely over and the loss of generous relocation packages is hurting expat families.

As a result of belts being tightened both corporately and personally, a newly developed international school model is gaining ground against the established elite-focused traditional models. The proliferation of options priced in the middle range aren’t just providing essential education for expat children, they’re also giving investment opportunities to a new class of less wealthy expats. Long dominating the Southeast Asian private education market, the premium education options are now seeing falling demand due to their ever increasing charges.

In Singapore, for example, a year’s education can cost up to $40,000 for children of elementary age, and Singaporean children aren’t allowed to continue their international schooling past the kindergarten level. The city-state’s traditional international schools existed solely to cater for expat children and are now losing pupils to the new-style internationals charging half the price. In addition, the Singaporean government is favouring the mid-priced options, going so far as making sure supply keeps up with demand by restricting the compulsory licenses to the new type of school.

Mid-fee international schools differ from their rival predecessors in that they offer fewer facilities, larger class sizes, a narrower curriculum and, occasionally, less stringent teacher qualifications. Unsurprisingly, as other countries in the region open up to the needs of expat children, the market for international schooling is also concentrating on mid-range schools, with Vietnam the first to open up quality, affordable educational facilities for expat children. The move gives hope that, for the first time ever, Asian nations aren’t solely regarding their expat populations as open wallets.

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