With rugby teams practicing on its playing fields in opposition to the backdrop of a red-brick bell tower, Dulwich College is the image of a quintessentially English personal college.

But that is Shanghai, and the close to-similar to the college’s four hundred-year old determine in London is one in all a developing variety of prestigious British academic institutions lending their names to newly minted offshoots abroad.

Officials at the UK’s Department for International Trade say they’re privy to extra than one hundred twenty foreign projects being considered by British faculties. The new branches dovetail with the authorities’s worldwide schooling method, which targets to help “transnational education” of rate-paying pupils abroad as a supply of exports. Many such students move on to use for UK college locations.

David Cook, who ran Dulwich’s first global faculty in Thailand before turning into headmaster of Repton in Dubai, after which oversaw the introduction of schools for each Harrow and Wellington in China, said: “It’s quite high-quality. I could never have imagined two decades ago that this increase might occur.”

 

But quarter professionals caution that the surge in schools exploring overseas offshoots won’t be sustainable, undermining the authorities’s purpose to enhance annual education exports from £20bn to £35bn through 2030.

They point out that the growth comes against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty in Asia and the Gulf, wherein call for for the colleges is maximum, and the schools themselves have restricted ability to amplify abroad at the same time as preserving their operations lower back within the UK.

In the top class private international college marketplace, “the cake is turning into larger but it’s far being sliced between many extra who’re taking a percentage,” recommended Ashwin Assomull, a accomplice within the education practice at LEK, a consultancy. He brought that there have been an explosion in both British schools abroad and a number of rival non-public worldwide college chains.

British and other international schools inside the beyond catered normally to expatriates, however for the duration of the beyond decade call for in rising markets — led by way of China — has grown sharply to cater for an increasing domestic center magnificence with disposable income and worldwide aspirations for their youngsters.

Colin Bell, the leader executive of the Council of British International Schools, stated this developing demand reflected “the recognition of British education, and English as the commercial enterprise language of choice”. He brought that UK and US universities were additionally notably ranked, and British colleges had been visible as an vital path into them.

According to ISC Research, which tracks education developments, there are actually 73 British independent faculties with sister faculties or partnerships overseas. They teach a complete of forty five,000 students and feature annual fee income of $1bn. Another 19 are due to open at some stage in the subsequent two years.

Joe Spence, the master of Dulwich College in London, which now has 10 worldwide partnerships, argued that the appetite for elite public schools meditated “the development of the British version over 150 years, balancing instructional fine with pastoral care. And supra- and co-curricular activities including tune, drama, charitable work and leadership”.

He said the revenues generated by way of Dulwich’s overseas branches were used to fund scholarships that inspire social mobility returned in London, at the same time as international exchanges enriched the revel in for college students and group of workers alike. But he harassed that his distant places strategywas now not a “no longer wreck and seize”. It brought revenues of most effective about £1m a 12 months and required a significant funding in assets for the supervision, guide and selection of senior group of workers.

Mark Abell, a lawyer at Bird & Bird, showed that the scope for elite colleges inclusive of Dulwich to expand profitably become confined. Mr Abell, who has acted for eighty schools and has 30 tasks underneath dialogue, said economies of scale had been critical. “I explain to customers that if they want to open one or faculties, they’re wasting their time: they may in no way visit scale and will no longer have a long-term sustainable challenge,” he stated.

He talked about that colleges should struggle to maintain requirements at faraway branches, where it could be hard stability the school’s pursuits with those of neighborhood commercial enterprise companions who generally manipulate and very own the residences. For example, Dulwich split from its first school in Thailand over differences in approach.

“You have kids with unique levels of motivation and English language proficiency, and local partners who want to fill their facilities quick so you can’t be so selective,” delivered Mr Assomull at LEK.

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