Southeast Asian nations dominate the list of countries with the highest number of premium English-language international schools in the greater East Asia region. (JG Photo/ Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

International Schools Poised for Growth in East, Southeast Asia


MARCH 09, 2017

Jakarta. Southeast Asian nations dominated the list of countries with the highest number of premium English-language international schools in the greater East Asia region, according to the latest report published by International School Consultancy Research, or ISC Research.

Indonesia leads the Asean region with the highest number of English-language international schools, totaling 190. Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia trail Indonesia with 181, 177 and 170 respectively.

In East Asia, China tops the list with 567 international schools, more than double the number of international schools in Japan, which currently sits at 257.

The data was released by ISC Research, a global research firm that gathers market intelligence on international schools, ahead of the forthcoming International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) conference which will take place on March 22-24 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Quoting the data released by ISC, IPSEF co-founder Rhona Greenhill explained that amount of international schools in East Asia has increased to 1,125 this year from 828 in 2013, an increase of nearly 32 percent. New international schools in Southeast Asia increased to 1,008 from 725 over the same time period.

"We see a lot of growth potential in this part of the world for private and international schools, mainly as a result of the continued growth of the economies in East and Southeast Asia. This is why we have gathered some of the world's leading experts to present insights into the development prospects, as well as challenges, confronting the education sector in the region. We think the conference will enable stakeholders to take advantage of new opportunities and hopefully mitigate associated risks," Greenhill said.

The astonishing growth rate of international schools in Asia underscores the region's continuing quest to develop and be on par with the rest of the world in regards to education, she added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia leads Southeast Asia with the highest number of students currently enrolled in international schools with 71,589, followed by Thailand with 64,928 and Singapore with 63,789.

Indonesia and Vietnam currently have 57,402 and 40,0003 students enrolled in international schools, respectively.

Across Southeast Asia, student enrollment in international schools has increased 33.9 percent in the last four years.

Sami Yosef, Head of Southeast Asia Research at ISC Research, will present the latest data and intelligence on developments and opportunities for international school investment in East and Southeast Asia at the IPSEF forum later this month.

South Africa's Curro Group, another international education research firm, will present various models for developing low-cost, high quality education systems for emerging markets in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Teacher recruitment will also be a key issue taken up at the conference, as recruiting top talent has always been a great challenge for many international schools, with key presentations on teacher retention and global recruitment and placement of teachers.