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Thinking Global - Potential

Updated: Aug 26, 2018


George DeBakey, Advisor

DeBakey International

July 23, 2018

While we think of back-to-school as a North American selling season, schools around the globe are heading back to school at the same time. Have you thought about expanding your opportunities into the global education markets? Why consider this market?


First, international schools are defined by ISC in Oxford, UK as a school that teaches in English the school is located in a country where English is not the first language.

There are over 9,100 schools now worldwide and growing to 15,000 by 2025 according to ISC. Most of these schools have either British, American or International Baccalaureate curriculums. Many of the American curriculum schools have adopted Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In fact, there are conferences in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) each year now about Common Core and NGSS.


China leads the world with the largest numbers of international schools. In second place is the Middle East where there are over 1,100 international schools with over half in the UAE alone. The city with the most international schools is Dubai in the UAE.


How do you market to the international schools? Most companies do not have the resources to set up an office or sell direct to the schools. There are resellers in the overseas markets who focus on the education market and represent educational companies to market and support their products and solutions.


Schools are looking for good content in areas such as math, science, reading/literacy, special needs, ELL and professional development. Another major area is the need for more resources in Arabic.


Companies should consider marketing to international schools by participating in conferences focused on international schools. For example, there are eight regional associations that represent schools overseas. One of these organizations is the Near East South Asia Overseas Council (NESA). This organization represents schools in the Middle East and some in Asia. Your company can become a member of NESA and participate in their events during the year such as the annual conference. This year's conference will be held in Athens, Greece, October 18 - 21. Another group is the International Baccalaureate (IB) and their three regional events each year. For example, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa annual conference is scheduled for October 4 - 6 in Vienna, Austria. Participating in NESA and/or IB will put you directly in contact with heads of schools and curriculum directors in the regions of those who will be attending these key conferences.


When your organization is ready to expand globally, contact our team at Forward Thinking EDU. Our experienced team will be happy to discuss the market opportunities in both K12 and higher education.

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