UAE has the largest number of international schools in the world

Published August 17th, 2015 - 08:47 GMT

The UAE leads the world with 511 international schools, while Saudi Arabia (245 schools), Egypt (183) and Qatar (152) figure prominently in the top 15, a report said.

While China claimed the second spot with 480 schools, Pakistan (439) and India (411) followed closely at third and fourth, according to the latest data on the growth of the international schools market published by ISC Research, part of The International Schools Consultancy (ISC).

 Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar landed the fifth, ninth and 14th places.

“The education landscape in the Middle East and South Asia is changing very rapidly. Only last February, there were 505 schools in the UAE, and that number has increased by 6. This kind of commitment to developing the education sector is prevalent in the region, where economic progress in recent years have put the spotlight on education as a key factor for future progress,” said Rhona Greenhill, co-founder, International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF), which will take place in Dubai from September 29 to October 1 at the Dubai Knowledge Village Auditorium.

The forum gathers leading education experts from around the world to share key insights on the international and private school education sector in the region.

English-medium international schools now provide education for over four million students around the world. This number has risen dramatically in recent years. Just 15 years ago there were fewer than 1 million students, and five years ago there were 2.75 million. Demand for places at international schools in many countries is growing at pace, driven by the desire to prepare children in the best possible way for higher education.

IPSEF has this year included keynote presentations on Africa and India, seen by experts as similar to the Middle East as providing the next key markets for international and private education development.

IPSEF is being held in partnership with Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA); it is also supported by Oxford University Press, The Parthenon Group, GL Education, and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS); in association with ISC and UK Trade & Investment. Programme highlights and registration information are available at

Top 15 countries with the highest number of English-medium international schools:

1    United Arab Emirates (511 schools)
2    China (480)    
3    Pakistan (489)    
4    India (411)    
5    Saudi Arabia (245)    
6    Japan (233)
7    Spain (203)
8    Indonesia (190)
9    Egypt (188)
10    Hong Kong (176)
11    Thailand (172)
12    Germany (169)
13    Argentina (160)
14    Qatar (152)
15    Netherlands (151)

The International School Consultancy (ISC) is the leading provider of data and market intelligence on the world’s English-medium international schools market.

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