New analysis from ISC Research has blamed Brexit for international school growth in London grinding to a halt, Forbes reports.
Following years of continual growth, the number of pupils enrolling in international schools in the capital has dropped since 2016’s referendum.
In the five years leading to 2016, there was a 21% hike in the number of students enrolling in London’s English-speaking international schools. However, numbers have dropped by 5% since the referendum.
To compare, international student numbers are increasing in other regions in Europe. These include two of London’s key rivals as Europe’s main financial hub, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Demand for places in these cities remain strong and have increased over the past couple of years, albeit by less than 1%.
This data suggests that international elites are shunning the UK as it gears up to exit the EU next year, with the trend only likely to strengthen in the coming years.
Yet, ISC Research revealed that many international schools are already at, or nearing, full capacity. These establishments might need to expand or create new capacity in order to meet the predicted demand.
A number of financial institutions are considering relocating staff away from the UK’s capital due to uncertainty over Brexit’s impact, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency is relocating to Amsterdam, and Unilever chose Rotterdam over London as the base of its headquarters.
International bankers and European agencies are among those most likely to choose an international education for their children, as it minimises disruption to their learning if they’re suddenly asked to relocate.
The drop in demand for school places in London is expected to be far greater than the figures imply, due to the strength of London’s fee-paying schools sector which hasn’t been taken into account in ISC’s data.
London has traditionally been a top player in the international schools market, and only time will tell whether Brexit will have a lasting impact.
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