The countries with most potential for British schools

Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and China revealed as being among the fastest-growing markets for British schools overseas

Adi Bloom


Vietnam and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that offer the greatest potential for British schooling overseas, it has been revealed.

A government advisor has highlighted the countries with rapidly growing markets for international education. 

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Vipul Bhargava, specialist advisor to the Department of International Trade, said: “Overall, the UK wants to increase exports. 

“Education is a key part of exports.” 

He said that educational exports are worth around £20 billion. Of this, the schools sector is worth roughly £1 billion. The government aims to increase the overall figure to £35 billion by 2030. 

This has informed a drive to push British schooling overseas. Among the countries with the greatest potential are: 


Vietnam used to impose a cap of 20 per cent on the proportion of Vietnamese children allowed to be educated in an international school. Now, Mr Bhargava said, this cap has been raised to 50 per cent. So half of every class in British schools in Vietnam could now be made up of Vietnamese pupils.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has just announced the biggest education budget in the country’s history: larger even than its military budget for the year.

“It’s not for everybody, but there’s a lot of interest in Saudi,” Mr Bhargava said.


There is a huge appetite for British schools in China, Mr Bhargava said. This year, 14 new British-branded schools will open in China. This is greater than the sum of all British schools that opened in China over the last five years. 

Other growing markets

There is also significant potential for British schools opening in Brazil, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Mr Bhargava said. 

He was speaking at the annual conference of the Council of British International Schools held in London earlier this year.

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