What is it about?

The number of international schools is growing, especially in Asia. This presents competitive challenges; most obviously for student recruitment and retention. However, demand for places at these schools is also growing. As a result, while international schooling may feel competitive, aggregate economic data show that growing numbers do not axiomatically equate to fierce competition; many schools enjoy benign market pressures. This observation, the paper concludes, encourages a more nuanced view of international school competition across Asia – and of its gold rush conditions

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The famous California gold rush lasted from 1848-1855. Seven short years. When it comes to writing the history of the international school gold rush, how will things compare? For the California prospectors, few stopped to ask when the gold rush might end. Many suffered greatly as a result. Lest we forget the lessons of history, for how long might the international school gold rush last? This paper addresses that question. Cutting through the hyperbole, the paper offers something of a reality check for schools currently enjoying gold rush conditions, and, in relative terms, benign competition. What happens when the gold stops flowing?


Sitting at the nexus of business and education is not always an easy or comfortable place to be. But, as we are so often told, education is 'big business'. This article bridges those words. Education and children remain the touchstone, but if we are to best serve their needs then contemporary international schooling requires coming to terms with the 'business of education'.

Denry Machin
Keele University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Great Asian International School Gold Rush: an economic analysis, Journal of Research in International Education, July 2017, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1475240917722276.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page