WENR, April 2014: Middle East


International School Students Concentrated in the Middle East

Almost a third of the world’s international school students attend schools in the Middle East, according to recent figures from the International Schools Consultancy (ISC) Group [1]. The region is home to 1,213 of the world’s 7,016 English-medium international schools, teaching over 1 million students.

In the United Arab Emirates alone there are 433 international schools, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar have 195 and 130 respectively. Based on the research, Dubai is the leading city for international schools having seen dramatic growth in recent years to 233 institutions. Student enrollment has risen by 40 percent since 2009, to 191,000.

The increase in demand, which has seen Dubai’s schools operating at 90 percent capacity, is partially due to more Emirati nationals opting for international schools says ISC.

Based on its research of schools that deliver a curriculum wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country, many of which offer an international curriculum, ISC expects to see continued growth in the international schools market. It predicts that there will be over 11,000 international schools teaching English-based curricula to 6.3 million students within the next decade.

The PIE News [2]
March 11, 2014


Nursing Program Receives Canadian Accreditation

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) has granted accreditation to the University of Calgary in Qatar [3]. The accreditation will run for a seven-year term, the highest level possible.

University of Calgary news release [4]
March 4, 2014

United Arab Emirates

Two Weeks Added to Academic Calendar to Bring it in Line with International Norms

Ten days will be added to the UAE school calendar beginning in 2014-15, in a move that the Ministry of Education says will would bring the country’s school system into line with international standards.

The major change is a reduction in the December-January break, when many expatriate families return home for Christmas. It has been cut from three to two weeks. The next academic year will run from August 31, 2014 to June 25, 2015. The first term will include 74 teaching days, with 60 in the second term and 55 in the third term, to total 189 days.

UAE Ministry of Education under-secretary Marwan Al Sawaleh said the decision to increase the number of teaching days would bring the country in line with international standards of between 185 and 190 study days. He did not clarify where the additional five days had been added to the calendar.

Arabian Business [5]
March 26, 2014

Dubai Private School Operator Plans Six New Schools a Year

Dubai schools operator GEMS Education [6] plans to build about six schools a year to take advantage of the United Arab Emirates’ booming private education industry, according to company officials.

Along with healthcare, education is viewed as one of the fastest-expanding industries in the Middle East, as growing populations and burgeoning wealth create demand for high quality services previously in short supply locally.

Expatriates account for the vast majority of the UAE population, with demand for schooling rising alongside a gradual shift from short-term residents chasing tax-free wages to workers settling and bringing up families in the region.

“There’s a much more stable population base here now,” Nicholas Guest, the GEMS Education chief financial officer, told reporters on the sidelines of a company event.

“There’s big demand at the primary age group, but people are staying in the UAE longer, so that is filtering through into secondary (education). And people used to send their kids home to boarding school, but less and less of that is happening.”

The company, which has 39 schools catering to about 90,000 students, is aiming to create 10,000 new school places a year. Most will be in the UAE, which accounts for about 95 percent of its business.

Reuters [7]
January 28, 2014