The number of overseas campuses run by British private schools has risen by almost a quarter in the space of a year, new figures have revealed.
The results of the annual census by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), published today, show that the number of pupils being educated in such campuses is higher than the number of overseas pupils being educating by ISC schools in the UK.
According to the census, the number of overseas campuses operated by ISC members has risen from 47 in 2018 to 58 this year.
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They educate a total of 39,616 pupils, compared to the 28,910 pupils in ISC schools in the UK whose parents live overseas.
Mainland China has the highest number of overseas campuses - 26 - educating a total of 15,137 pupils.
Last year, research by the ISC found that the demand for a western-style education from wealthy parents was helping fuel a boom in British independent school opening overseas.
According to today’s report, the Middle East has the second highest number of overseas campuses - 13 - with 11,637 pupils, while Thailand and Hong Kong are third and fourth, with five and four such campuses respectively.
In January, consultancy Venture Education predicted that there would be 46 British private school campuses in China by the end of 2019.
The organisation said that many independent schools were expanding beyond Beijing and Shanghai to cities such as Guangzhou and Chongqing.
It attributed the rising number of overseas campuses to the rising number of wealthy families in China, and a belief that attending a campus of a “brand-name” British school such as Harrow or Wellington would increase their chances of getting a place at leading Western universities such as Oxford and Harvard.
At the time, Richard Gaskell, schools director at ISC Research, said: “There’s a huge desire amongst aspirational Chinese parents for their children to learn a British-style of education and be fluent in both Mandarin and English.
“These schools provide a more Western style of education which offers greater access to the world’s best universities and, as a result, better job prospects.”