The number of international schools in Thailand continues to increase. Applications from ten schools that wish to start operating in the Kingdom are currently being processed.
According to figures from the Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC), part of the Ministry of Education that administers and oversees international schools in Thailand, a total of 220 registered and approved international schools, including preschools, are operating in the country as of January 15 this year.
In addition to this, more schools are applying to open in the Kingdom.
”We are currently processing applications from ten schools. If they get approval, we will publish the names and locations of these schools on our website,” Ms. Nittaya Boonsila of OPEC, says.
Ever increasing number of schools
The number of new international schools opening in Thailand is increasing fast.
The first school opened in 1951 which, according to OPEC’s records, was ISB – International School Bangkok – located in Nonthaburi, just north of Bangkok.
By 1989, the number of international schools had increased to five. The decade of 1990-1999 saw 35 new schools opening, with a further 69 new schools established between 2000 and 2009, and another 100 during the last decade up to 2019.
In 2020 alone, 12 new schools have opened. One of these latest schools to open is King’s College International School in the Ratchada–Rama 3 area of Bangkok.
Schools opening in provinces
Today there are several international schools outside of the metropolitan areas, including Krabi International School in Krabi province, New Cambridge International School in Phitsanoluk province, Udon Thani International School in Udon Thani province, California Prep International School in Saraburi province, and Chiang Rai International School in Chiang Rai Province.
”It is great that more international schools are coming to Thailand. It shows that Thailand has a strong reputation as a destination for families seeking good education for their children. At the same time, the increased number of schools will lead to more options for families and increased competition among the schools which hopefully will put pressure on tuition fees. In the end the families could be the winners,” Dr Anders Engvall, an economist and senior analyst at TIS Monitor, says.
However, with this comes a warning:
”With the ongoing COVID pandemic and Thailand’s relatively sealed borders, it is not certain that all schools will have enough students to maintain a sustainable business. We will probably see some schools close, while others merge,” he says.