China has rarely left the education press’s spotlight in recent months. Earlier this year, news broke of the first state-funded academy trust in England to open a fee-paying branch there. Joint-venture schools are emerging in response to local laws preventing the admission of local students, and the International Baccalaureate has announced its 1,000th approved programme in Beijing.
With more global assignments in China than in any other country in the Asia Pacific region, it is little wonder that education choices and challenges for families moving to China are a hot topic in the press.
Diane Glass, head of business development at ISC Research, speaking at the Re:locate Global International Education Forum held earlier this year, revealed that there were 525 English-medium international schools in China. Most of these are located in Tier 1 cities, with 23 per cent in Beijing and 22 per cent in Shanghai. Many others are located in the provincial capitals, such as Chengdu and Guangzhou.
But, according to recent reports, the cost of attending fee-paying English-medium schools in the region, with the scarcity of school places, is creating significant challenges for relocating families.