UAE is leading country for international schools – reportPosted on 13th Apr 2016 in International Schools, United Arab Emirates
The UAE has the highest number of English-medium K-12 international schools, according to a report by ISC Research.
In terms of the number of international schools, the UAE is currently competing in a very tight race with China, but in terms of student enrolment, the UAE leads the world decisively.
The data has been published in the new Market Intelligence Report for International Schools in the United Arab Emirates by ISC Research.
According to the new ISC Market Intelligence Report there are 548 English-medium international schools in the UAE; just three ahead of China.
The two emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi dominate with 260 schools in Dubai and 191 in Abu Dhabi. More schools are under construction with 14 due to open during 2016 including GEMS International School in Mudon, Canadian International School in Dubai, and Sunmarke School in Jumeirah Village. Several more schools are in various phases of development.
The total number of students aged between 3 and 18 attending English-medium international schools in the UAE is 545,074. This is the highest enrolment of any country in the world by a significant margin (Saudi Arabia follows with 260,989). 36% of all international schools in the UAE have over 1,000 students.
There are several reasons why student enrolment is so high at international schools in the UAE, according to ISC Rsearch. Major factors include the wealth of the country, an extensive expatriate population, demand for high quality, English-medium education by both expatriates and wealthy locals, plus the fact that the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi allow unlimited enrolment of local children at international schools. According to the ISC Market Intelligence Report, Emirati students comprise the single largest student nationality (25%) with the exception of Dubai where they are outnumbered by Indian children (29%). However, in no emirate do local children exceed 50% of the student population.
The report states that, with Dubai’s population projected to grow by 13% within the next two years, and further expansion in Abu Dhabi, demand for international school places in these two emirates will continue to increase substantially. The report also suggests that the Northern Emirates, which currently have 29 international schools, represent a potential growth market for the UAE where new developments have been emerging over the past two years.
Fees at some international schools in the UAE are being impacted by the recent oil crisis, and the report evaluates the impact of this on demand and income. Another issue raised by the report is the increasing concern about access to enough qualified teachers with skills and experience from the UK. 47% of the international schools in the UAE follow a British curriculum and 73% offer IGCSE, GCE AS and/or GCE A levels. The report cites less competitive teacher salaries in the UAE than many other countries, plus a drop in the number of people applying to enrol for teacher qualifications in the UK for this concern. “If the number of qualified teachers…begins to dwindle,” says the report, “schools will find it difficult to expand.”
You can read profiles of leading schools in the UAE on by clicking here.