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AAIE Conference highlights growth opportunities for American Schools Overseas
AAIE Conference highlights growth opportunities for American Schools Overseas

AAIE Conference highlights growth opportunities for American Schools Overseas

February 2018 - At the AAIE Conference in New York in February, market intelligence and trends identified opportunities and challenges for American Schools Overseas for the year ahead.

"The chance to choose between different school types close to home has changed the way many local parents plan for their child's education," said Richard Gaskell, Schools Director at ISC Research, the leading supplier of data for the English-medium K12 schools market overseas.

"Today, due to their personal experiences of education overseas, and their awareness of the American and British K-12 schools opening in their home towns, parents in many countries are seeking out quality local options in order to keep their children close to home until they are fully prepared and old enough to cope with the demands of learning overseas; typically at undergraduate stage," he said.

Well over 80% of all students now attending many American schools overseas are the children of local aspirational parents seeking out a reliable pathway to some of the best undergraduate degrees in the US and the rest of the world.

Some of the highlights that came from Richard Gaskell's presentation to AAIE members were:

  • American schools in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and some sectors of the market in China have seen significant departure of US expatriate families as companies downsize because of the oil and gas crisis, political unrest and cost trimming.
  • However, most of the schools in these countries, where regulations allow other foreign expatriates and local children to attend, are experiencing buoyant enrolment. Local nationals who have, in the past, been on long waiting lists, are finally seeing admissions open up to them.
  • There is positive news for American developers, management companies and independent schools wishing to benefit from the huge demand for Western education within China. Recent amendments to China's private education law has been a big benefit for investment with certain school entities accessible to local Chinese nationals now legally able to receive dividends. This has immediately generated interest in school development.
  • In Latin America, there has been notable expansion of reputable international school groups in Mexico, Peru and Colombia where school accreditation is increasingly important to parents as a way of ensuring quality education for their children.
  • Perhaps most exciting was news from Europe, referenced during the conference by ISC Research and confirmed by several school Heads including the American School of Paris and the International School of Amsterdam. Some European cities are experiencing demand for school places dramatically higher than they have seen in years, possibly impacted by geo-political factors elsewhere, as the Director of the American School of Warsaw clearly identified. Several American schools in Frankfurt have seen a rise in enrolment demand of up to 40%. Nord Anglia International School in Dublin, Ireland, the first international school which will open in the city this September, has already surpassed its first-year enrolment expectations as British and American families currently based in England move across the Irish Sea to maximise their access to Europe post Brexit.

ISC Research is the leading provider of intelligence and data on the world's international schools market. It supplies schools and suppliers with a range of market reports, data licences, and research partnerships to support international development. A selection of presentation slides from the AAIE conference are available from

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