Demand for international schools takes off in China

Demand for international schools takes off in China

Demand for international schools takes off in China

The ever-increasing demand for international school education is spurring interesting shifts which may give more choice for all pupils.

From an almost exclusively expat market, international schools in Europe and Asia are now facing soaring demands for their services from aspirational local parents looking for home country education provided by teachers with globally respected qualifications. China is very much the new kid on the block as regards international curricula, but demand from locals is outpacing supply in spite of its 5,344 international education providers.

British independent schools are leading the Chinese market for an international education, with brands such as Lucton School and Kings College School due to open later this year and Uppingham School scheduled to launch some time in 2019. Looking further ahead, Wycombe Abbey and Westminster School are planning to open in 2020. All the newcomers will be accepting applications from both Chinese nationals and expat parents for their children.

The Chinese education system may seem confusing to expat parents, as there are four main types of school. The first, Schools for Children of Foreign Workers, are closed to Chinese students and aren’t forced to offer the local curriculum. Private schools are owned and operated by Chinese investors and aimed at Chinese citizens’ children. The oddly-named Sino-Foreign Cooperatives include a foreign education partner as well as a Chinese owner and accept both expat and Chinese children. Finally, International Streams run within Chinese schools open to both local and foreign pupils and are privately-owned entities.

At present, there’s a high demand for British-style independent schools in China, as illustrated by Theresa May’s visit in February which resulted in education deals worth over £550 million and included several well-known British education brands. There’s also a need for bilingual Chinese private schools in the style of Hangzhou’s Wellington Collage International, and a recent landmark deal is linking the Hualan Education Group and the University of Buckingham with the setting up of teacher training facilities in both countries.

Related Stories:

Latest News: