HO CHI MINH, 21 MAY 2018 – Being an expat in Asia isn’t what it used to be. Before the financial crisis, people who took a job for large multinational companies in cities like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur could count on allowances for housing and school fees for their children.

Those packages have all but disappeared in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis and a pull-back among big oil firms in the region. In response to the resulting tighter budgets, more affordable international schools have been springing up around Southeast Asia.

For investors, this means there are “more routes into Asia’s international education market than ever,” says Noeleen Goh, Director of Alternative Investments at JLL. “It’s really being driven by this proliferation of mid-priced options.”

Premium education options – generally tied to well-known British or American brands – long dominated international school markets in Southeast Asia. Take Singapore, where high-end international schools can cost S$40,000 a year for elementary-age children.

Unlike other markets in the region, Singaporean citizens can’t attend international schools in Singapore past pre-kindergarten level, meaning international schools there cater exclusively to expats. But without lucrative financial packages, demand among expats has shifted to schools that can be half the price.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board releases land tender for school development or school campuses for lease, and issues school operating licenses when it wishes to expand the network, which usually occurs when it anticipates the need for more capacity.

Recently, Singaporean government policy has also aimed to make sure these mid-priced options are increasingly available. For example, the last two tenders for education campus leases in Pioneer Road and Tampines required participating schools to have an all-in school fee cap of S$22,000 a year. One World International School and Middleton International School eventually won the two sites.

For more information, click http://www.joneslanglasalle.com.vn/vietnam/en-gb/news/436/expats-in-asia-hunting-for-more-affordable-education

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