International schools across the Gulf, one of the fastest growing education markets globally, raked up fees worth $6 billion, Saudi Gazette said quoting a new report.
According to a report by the International School Consultancy Group, the Gulf region has around 982 international schools and was the second fastest growing markets globally for such schools.
Regionally, the UAE had the highest number of international schools at 439, up from 433 in the first quarter of this year. Saudi Arabia had 195 international schools while Qatar had up to 130 such schools.
The report also noted that the number of international schools in Qatar was bound to rise as the country’s Supreme Education Council recently approved 26 new private schools out of the 90 applications received.
Kuwait has 80 international schools with 90,000 students while the number of such schools stood at 58 in Oman with 60,000 students.
According to ISC, Asia, which includes the Middle East, is the fastest growing international school market in the world.
The report added that East Asia, the Gulf and South America will have the strongest demand in future as appetite for access to quality education increases in these markets.
This in line with a recent report by research firm Alpen Capital, which forecast a rising demand for international schools in the GCC region.
“A growing expatriate base has been spurring the setting up of private schools in the region,” the report said.
“Sensing the potential, several international schools are setting up their branches or are entering into affiliations with the existing private institutions in the region.”
Buoyed by a growing population of both locals and expats, the total number of students in the region is expected to reach 13.7 million by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of three per cent from 2013 to 2020, the report added.