Private schools turn to foreign pupils as recession bites

 

Independent schools are relying on a surge in applications from foreign students as they try to beat the recession, according to official figures published today.

The annual census of the Independent Schools Council shows the number of foreign students has risen by 1.4 per to 25, 912 while the number of home-grown students has stagnated.

The figures also show a growing number of independent schools - in total 29 - have set up overseas campuses which educate a further 19,000 foreign students - swelling their coffers and helping pay for more bursaries to help pupils from poor backgrounds.

The rise comes mainly from Russia, China and Nigeria - up 27.4 per cent, 5.4 per cent and 16.3 per cent respectively. By far the largest number of students come from Hong Kong (5,732) and China ((3,891)

In the meantime, a like-with-like comparison of the 1,204 schools that completed the census in both years reveals a 0.3 per cent overall drop in pupil numbers to 503, 132.  However, overall pupil numbers have risen to 508, 601 as some larger schools have joined the organisation in the past year.

The drop is most marked in secondary schools and sixth forms (down 0.8 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively - whereas prep school numbers are rising (up 0.6 per cent).  The ISC said this reflected a drop in the age cohort at secondary school level and an increase in those of primary school age.

Regionally, recruitment in London is improving (by 1.1 per cent) -whereas it is tailing off elsewhere (0.6 per cent down).  The biggest drop is in Wales (2.7 per cent).

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC and former headmaster of Harrow, acknowledged the drive to improve recruitment internationally was “partly to provide a source of revenue for UK schools in order to hold down fee increases and fund bursaries”.

The Census also discloses that fee rises were the lowest for almost 20 years at 3.9 per cent with schools recognising parents are struggling as a result of the recession.

Growing numbers of independent school pupils are also seeking university places abroad following the rise in UK fees levels, it adds, with 38 per cent of schools reporting increases in those seeking to leave these shores to study.  Only nine per cent reported a drop in demand for overseas university places.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
booksNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: MIS Officer - Further Education Sector

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015