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UAE sees 17 new international schools welcome pupils

UAE sees 17 new international schools welcome pupils

ISC Research said most expat families who relied on their employer covering education fees had now left the region


A total of 17 new international schools have welcomed pupils on Sunday at the start of the UAE academic year, according to a study by ISC Research.

The company said the parents of 643,000 children are now choosing to send them to local private, English-medium international schools in the country.

The new openings, which included 13 in Dubai alone, bring the total number of English-medium international schools to 642.

Of these 49 per cent offer UK curriculum and 25 per cent US curriculum, while 20 per cent of pupils are Indian and 5 per cent are British, according to the study.

ISC said most expat families who were sending their children to school under generous benefits packages that covered school fees for dependents had left the region following cuts during the recent period of lower oil prices and were being replaced by an increasing number of Emirati, Arab and sub-continent families.

Among the new openings were sustainable institutions Fairgreen International School and Arbor School and Gems ‘value-for-money’ institutions Vertus School and Founders School-Mizhar in Dubai and the International Curriculum School in Abu Dhabi.

Independent brand openings included the first Middle East campus of Dwight School and the third UAE branch of Brighton College.

Both announced their openings on Sunday.

“We have opened a beautiful Dwight School campus in Dubai where we will ignite the spark of genius in each and every child. We welcome our founding families to the global Dwight family.” said Dwight School Dubai head Janecke Aarnaes.

Brighton College Dubai head master Marco Longmore echoed similar sentiment.

“Our main focus this week, is to settle in our pupils into their new nurturing environment. We will do so by phasing in each year group over the week, and welcoming parents too, creating the foundations for our community of kindness,” he said.

Institutions in Dubai are facing tougher conditions this academic year following a government decision to freeze school fees to reduce the burden on parents.

Read: Dubai orders freeze on rents of educational institutions for a year

A similar cap on rents has been introduced but several institutions have announced they will halt pay rises for teachers and staff.

Read: Dubai’s Gems Education to freeze teacher salaries

ISC recorded 9,605 English-medium international schools globally in its 2018 report, up 6.3 per cent year-on-year.


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