Navigating Competition, Edtech Disruptions, and Parent Mobility

Admissions in international schools have always presented a unique set of challenges, but in today’s rapidly changing educational landscape, these challenges have become more formidable than ever. With increasing competition from a wide range of schools and the disruptive impact of EdTech due to the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions teams face a complex task. Furthermore, the short “Customer Life Cycle” resulting from the mobility of parents adds another layer of complexity, making it difficult to foster a deep sense of loyalty to the schools. In this article, we will explore effective strategies to tackle these challenges and ensure successful admissions in international schools.

1. Navigating the Increasing Competition:

As globalization continues to connect the world, the demand for international education has surged. This has led to a significant increase in the number of international schools, resulting in heightened competition for admissions. To tackle this challenge, schools need to develop a strong and differentiated value proposition that sets them apart from others. This can be achieved by focusing on unique academic programs, extracurricular activities, global connections, and a diverse faculty. For example, Millifield School, Somerset, is known for its sporting prowess.

In the last ten years, the number of international schools around the world has increased by 52%, from 8,700 schools in January 2013 to 13,190 schools in January 2023.

ISC Research, Feb 2023

2. Harnessing the Potential of EdTech Disruptions:

The COVID-19 pandemic has acceleratedthe adoption of educational technology, transforming the way learning is delivered. Admissions teams must adapt to this shift by embracing innovative digital solutions to facilitate the admissions process. Virtual tours, interactive online applications, and video interviews can enhance the experience for prospective families, enabling them to explore the school and interact with staff remotely. Additionally, schools can leverage data analytics and AI-powered tools to enhance their educational offering. The way forward is not a classroom without a teacher, but a classroom in which the teacher is empowered by EdTech tools and supported by AI and data intelligence.

3. Overcoming the Challenges of Parent Mobility:

International schools often face the challenge of a transient parent community, resulting in a short “Customer Life Cycle”. This means that admissions teams must continuously attract and engage new families while simultaneously fostering loyalty among existing ones.

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