Rising demand for international schools has seen the market grow from strength to strength, which in turn has caused competition to intensify. As a result, an increasing number of schools have started to seek accreditation in order to distinguish themselves.
This is the finding from a new report from ISC Research, cited by Study International. It notes how the number of global international schools has jumped by 58.9% since 2010, from 6,001 to 9,538.
Currently, 2,092 international schools have received accreditation, equating to 21.9% of the total market.
As the report states: ‘With so much choice, it can be challenging for parents to select an international school for their child.
‘An increasing number of schools are seeking accreditation as a route to differentiate and quality assurance. There is a range of accreditation options assessing different criteria and parents should take the time to understand what the accreditation means in order to make an informed choice.’
The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is one example of a quality assurance system. The body acts as an alternative to the voluntary inspection programme for British Schools Overseas (BSOs), conducted by the DfE.
COBIS represents member schools’ leaders, governors, staff and pupils by offering quality assurance via The Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance – for example, a five-year school development, improvement and review cycle.
Other accreditation systems include the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC), and the Council of International Schools’ International Accreditation.
Presently, Dubai has the largest number of international schools (306), followed by Shanghai (169) and Abu Dhabi (160).
Over the next year, it is predicted that an additional 104 international schools will open their doors, including 17 in the UAE region and 18 in China.
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