UAE leads world with highest number of international schools

The UAE has retained its position at the top of the world’s listing for countries with the most number of English-medium international schools at 589, compared to only 511 last year.

The data was released by The International Schools Consultancy, ISC, a leading global market intelligence and research firm focusing on international English-speaking schools as part of a report that will be presented in full at the International Private Schools Education Forum Middle East on 27th – 28th September in Dubai.

Richard Gaskell, Director for International Schools at ISC, will be presenting the very latest data on international school growth in the Middle East, along with a detailed analysis on the employment of teachers at international schools in the region.

At the resumption of the new academic year, the ISC report showed the total number of K-12 English-medium international schools worldwide was 8,489, with about 1,504 located in the Middle East, which remains the largest sub-region for international schools in the world.

Following the UAE, the other countries which figured in the top 10 include China, Pakistan, India and Spain. Saudi Arabia and Japan were in 6th and 7th place, followed Egypt, Brazil and Indonesia.

Going by city, Dubai leads the world for international schools with 276, and Abu Dhabi lies in 3rd place this year with 154 schools.

“These impressive numbers only confirm the continuing growth of private, international school education throughout the Gulf region,” said Rhona Greenhill, co-founder of the event. “That said, the business landscape is changing and this presents a number of challenges for private sector stakeholders which we hope to address at the forthcoming forum to which we have invited experts on how the private, international school sub-sector can continue its growth trajectory.”

Overall, the ISC calculates that more than 4.3 million students are now being educated at international schools worldwide, and by 2026, enrolment is projected to reach 8.7 million.


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