September 13, 2004
More educational exporting

Education as a global industry proceeds inexorably.

Singapore is selling education to Indians:

NEW DELHI – Affordable fees. Global curricula and world-class faculties. Close to home. A 'safe mix' of the best from the West and the East.

These are among the advantages Singapore offers Indian students as it positions itself to be Asia's education hub.

With these advantages, Singapore is a better option than even the United States, according to some parents and students who visited a two-day roadshow that ended here yesterday.

And Dubai is selling education to Scotland (although in this case "Dubai" sounds more like a flag of convenience):

A DUBAI-based company that claims to provide "no frills" private education is to open its first school in Scotland next year.

Global Education Management Systems (Gems) charges fees of £5,000 a year, up to half the cost of a traditional private school. It already has acquired 13 schools south of the border and is now carrying out market research with a view to expanding into Scotland. Its aim is to become the biggest provider of private education in the UK within the next five years.

In the Gulf states, about 40,000 children are currently educated in Gems schools, which are geared to providing high teaching standards rather than luxurious surroundings and facilities.

Sunny Varkey, an Indian entrepreneur who recently signed a deal to take his chain into Afghanistan, heads the Gems group. He plans to use Gems’ position as a limited company to invest in school facilities, claiming it will give him an edge over most independent schools, which find it difficult to raise money for new buildings due to their charitable status.

A spokeswoman for Gems said it had conducted market research and found that there was demand in Scotland for their schools. She added: "It's our intention to expand right across the whole of the UK. We are moving north of the border. I would say, realistically, it will be about a year but if a plot of land came up, it could be much sooner than that."

There's no business like global ed-business.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:30 PM
Category: GlobalisationThe private sector