The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has retained its position at the top of the world’s listing for countries with the most number of English medium international schools at 589, compared to only 511 last year. The data was released by The International Schools Consultancy (ISC), a leading global market intelligence and research firm focused on international English speaking schools as part of a report that will be presented in full at the forthcoming International Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) Middle East on 2728 September 2016 at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. Richard Gaskell, Director for International Schools at the ISC will be presenting the very latest data on international school growth in the Middle East plus a detailed analysis on the employment of teachers at international schools in the region. At the resumption of the new academic year, the ISC report showed the total number of K12 English medium international schools worldwide at 8,489, with about 1,504 such schools located in the Middle East, which remains the largest subregion for international schools in the world. Following the UAE, the other countries which figured in the top 10 include China (550), Pakistan (455), India (408) and Spain (353). Saudi Arabia and Japan were at 6th and 7th with 243 apiece, followed Egypt and Brazil at 8th and 9th with 191 each, and Indonesia at 10th with 190. Going by city, Dubai leads the world for international schools by city with 276. Abu Dhabi lies in 3rd place with 154 schools, followed by Doha with 142. The ISC’s data include preschools, primary and secondary schools. “These impressive numbers only confirm the continuing growth the private, international school education throughout the Gulf region,” said Rhona Greenhill, cofounder, IPSEF. “That said, the business landscape is changing and this presents a number of challenges for private sector stakeholders which we hope to address at the forthcoming forum where we have invited experts on how the private, international schools subsector can continue its growth trajectory.” Overall, the ISC calculates that more than 4.3 million students are now being educated at over 8,200 international schools worldwide; by 2026, enrolment is projected to reach 8.7 million. “With the international and private school markets continuing to grow, and as competition increases, it is increasingly critical that schools and investors planning to open new operations in education develop strategies for success. IPSEF Middle East hopes to provide a unique reference point for all those involved in the financing, planning, design, delivery and management of a new school project,” ended Greenhill.