A very successful first year – and much more is to come

TIS Monitor's first year has been tremendously successful, with a steady growing readership, despite the editor-in-chief's decision to temporarily leave Thailand due to COVID-19. Photos by: Kraken Images /Unsplash, and Vladimir Haltakov /Unsplash


TIS Monitor has in a very short time become the go-to source for international families interested in international education in Thailand. Soon we will roll out even more features to enhance our service to both schools and families.

One year ago, TIS Monitor launched the first independent news and resource website analyzing the growing market for international schools in Thailand.

TIS Monitor fills an important gap. Prior to the launching of the site, parents sending their children to international schools in Thailand had scant information about this market, their rights and what factors drive this industry forward. This is despite spending billions of baht on tuition fees every year.

The trigger for starting TIS Monitor was the school closures due to COVID-19. Parents in many schools were expected to pay full fees even with the schools having moved teaching online. Parents who chose to protest were often met with a cold ”Pay what we demand or we will kick you out”.

In a number of articles throughout the past year, the TIS Monitor team gave our readers insights to international schooling in Thailand, how deregulation has largely benefited school owners, how parental rights have been weakened and the existence of questionable business models. We have also highlighted the great opportunity offered to families choosing international schooling in Thailand. 

TIS Monitor’s pioneering journalism has received an overwhelmingly positive response. Our articles have been shared on social media with comments and interactions, and we have received a wonderful response from our readers.

Our most read articles have had almost 15,000 hits. This is an enormous amount for a still-growing news website, showing that our work is in demand. 

A fifth of our readers are outside of Thailand, mainly in the United States, Europe, Australia and Singapore. It is clear that more and more people seeking information about international education in Thailand are turning to TIS Monitor for unbiased news and expertise. 

During the last year we have not published as many articles as I had hoped, despite having plentiful ideas and storylines. But there is an explanation: When it became clear that this current school year would begin in August with even more online tuition for a very lengthy period, I chose to leave Thailand with my children. 

For the premium fees I pay for my kids’ schools, I want premium service, not more online teaching.

So, I have temporarily resided outside of Thailand, taking care of my regular full-time job and at the same time taking care of my children myself. As a result, I have not had time to write as often for TIS Monitor as I had wished.

In the near future, however, I will return to Thailand, bringing with me with many ideas for new articles to increase understanding of this sector and to help parents choose the right school for their children.

During my absence, my colleague, Dr. Anders Engvall, and his team of researchers have relentlessly continued to collect fee data for nearly 150 international schools in Thailand.

As this is his second year of data collection, we now have data to look back on that can be utilized to make comparisons and interpret developments.

In the coming weeks, we will therefore publish a series of articles on how school fees have changed in the past year as well as identifying the trends.

In Dr Engvall’s analysis of school fees and other financial data, we have been able to identify some great, family-focused schools.

As COVID-19 restrictions are eased, I hope to be able to visit these schools and introduce them to our readers.

For the coming year, I expect to be able to roll out a number of new features at TIS Monitor that will be very useful, both for schools and for parents.

Let’s all hope that the pandemic is finally coming to an end, and that all those families, including mine, who left Thailand last year will be returning and, with them, many more international families who chose to settle in Thailand for its great schools. 

After all, the viability of this industry with great international schools in healthy financial conditions, with transparent fee structures and a fair relationship with the parents, is paramount for TIS Monitor.

Michael Töpffer



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