What Does Globalization Mean for U.S. Independent Schools?

Education has become a globalized commodity as international borders fall both literally and figuratively. For decades, the U.S. private school community has served as a home to international students, but as economic and technological advances expand access to quality education worldwide, independent schools in the U.S. and international schools abroad must re-calibrate their approach to the global market and adapt to new exigencies. To guide schools, a new report entitled Understanding the International Market: A primer for independent school enrollment leaders, heads, and board has been released.

In an effort to explore and illuminate the exploding demand for international education, SSATB, the leading nonprofit membership association providing independent schools with tools, research, and programming to support their enrollment management needs, has released this report to provide a guide for U.S. and Canadian independent schools interested in what the boom in international demand means, as they develop new enrollment and marketing strategies.

The report focuses on the international education marketplace, as seen through three interrelated lenses:

  • The international export of U.S. education
  • The growth of English-medium schools worldwide
  • The enrollment of international students in U.S. and Canadian boarding and day schools

SSATB interviewed school leaders in the U.S. and abroad about today’s market and tomorrow’s opportunities. Through a series of short articles, this report addresses numerous questions on the minds of school heads, trustees, and enrollment management professionals. How and why should schools expand internationally, and what does that entail? How do enrollment operations and challenges differ between independent schools based in the U.S. and those abroad? What is the profile of the international student market, and what methods for recruitment are most successful with these students?

“Whether currently serving international students or just beginning to build a global schoolhouse, every school can use this special report to inform its strategy,” says SSATB Executive Director Heather Hoerle. “Worldwide advances in educational innovation have created new pathways to learning that require no travel time for students and provide impressive results. English-medium schools no longer exist simply to support expat mobility. Rather, a confluence of factors—growing wealth in other countries, increased demand for English instruction and curriculum, continued demand for admittance to the world’s top universities, and a growing desire in other countries for the best pedagogy available—is driving the exponential growth of international schools.”

A free copy of the report can be viewed here.

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