International schools are targeting a growing middle-class in Asia, Africa and the Middle East after COVID-19 restrictions and clampdowns on foreign education stalled a boom in expansion in China, reports the Financial Times. UK institutions are leading the way in switching focus to new markets in pursuit of stable revenue streams. In 2019 education consultancy Cairneagle recorded that 80% of schools set to be opened by British institutions were in China. In January, that had fallen to 15%,
The shift taps into growing demand for international private schools, with chains expanding in emerging economies with young populations and rising income levels such as India, Vietnam and Nigeria as well as Japan and other more established markets. Companies that run the overseas branches of old and prestigious schools are also cashing in on the trend.
“These different groups are all capitalising on increasing demand for private education,” said Jorge Amírola, partner at Cairneagle. “UK-born school groups are expanding very fast and other school groups are emerging in different parts of the world.”