Does Demand for opening an IB School in India exist?

Does Demand for opening an IB School in India exist?

Does Demand for opening an IB School in India exist?

The Journey of IB – International Baccalaureate school in India.

International Curriculum Schools in India has been an established and known concept for a while. Although the entry and seeds were sown way back in 1976 when India’s first IB Curriculum school was introduced while CAIE (Cambridge) has existence of over 60 years but the international curriculum primarily came into prominence since the dawn of 21st century from 2001 onwards.

When we say international curriculum education, there are three formal curriculum that exist which have a framework different to that of Indian Education system thereby popularly known as International curriculum. These are namely The International Baccalaureate Curriculum (IB), Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE, formerly known as CIE) along with Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the newest addition namely Edexcel which is also known as Pearson Edexcel since 2013 (British multinational education and examination body).

When IB was first adopted in India in 1976, there were very few takers, but we have seen a 10-fold increase in the last 15 years. Now we have over 700 schools (IB+IGCSE+Other Curriculum) across the country offering an international programme at one or the other level.


Demand for International Baccalaureate® (IB) Schools in India.

The IB curriculum is known for its holistic approach to education, emphasis on critical thinking, and international perspective. Here are some reasons why the demand for IB schools in India might be rising:

Global Perspective: The IB curriculum is designed to provide students with a global perspective on various subjects. In an increasingly interconnected world, parents and students often value an education that goes beyond national boundaries.

Holistic Approach: The IB program focuses not only on academic achievement but also on the development of various skills, including critical thinking, research, communication, and collaboration. This holistic approach is appealing to parents seeking a well-rounded education for their children.

University Recognition: Many universities worldwide recognize the IB diploma as a rigorous and academically challenging qualification. This recognition can enhance the prospects of IB students when applying to universities, both in India and abroad.

Experiential Learning: The IB program places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, including activities like community service and personal projects. This aligns with the growing interest in practical, hands-on learning experiences.

Language Proficiency: The IB program often requires students to study multiple languages, fostering linguistic proficiency and communication skills. In a country as diverse as India, where multilingualism is common, this aspect of the IB curriculum may be particularly attractive.

Parental Aspirations: There is a growing trend among parents to seek educational opportunities that go beyond traditional examination-focused systems. The IB program’s emphasis on a more holistic and inquiry-based approach aligns with these aspirations.

Career Preparation: The IB program aims to develop skills that are highly valued in the workplace, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. As the job market evolves, parents may see the IB program as a way to better prepare their children for future careers.

Growing Demand for IB PYP Program in India.

The demand for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) is on the rise in India, signaling a gradual shift away from national curricula such as CBSE and ICSE. Aspiring parents are increasingly seeking an international standard of education, leading them to favor enrolling their children in the IB PYP program during the foundational years. Subsequently, as they comprehend the depth and effectiveness of the curriculum, there is a smooth transition into the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (IB DP).

In Tier-1 locations, a significant number of parents are now expressing a preference for enrolling to IB PYP centers. This choice is driven by the relative ease of operation and a reduction in governmental interference, particularly from bodies like the Fee Regulation Committee, which often poses challenges when running primary year programs under national curricula. The shift towards IB PYP is not only reflective of the changing preferences of parents seeking international educational standards but also of the practical advantages associated with managing educational institutions in Tier-1 locations.

Growth Indicators for International Baccalaureate® (IB) Schools in India.

Demand for International Curriculum Schools in India has consistently increased over the years, with significant growth observed from 2003 to 2022.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, introduced in 1976, initially had slow progress in India, with only 11 affiliated schools till 2003. However, the number has since grown steadily, reaching about 215 IB curriculum offering schools.

The surge is attributed to the overall increase in the student population, with India having a large youth demographic (28% under 14 years), indicating a growing target segment for international curriculum schools.

The movement of Indian students abroad for higher education has also contributed to the demand for international curriculum schools, as students seek equivalent platforms for K-12 education to align with their aspirations for higher education abroad.

The presence of expat families and communities in India, comprising 49% of settled expats, has further fueled the demand for international curriculum schools over local education frameworks.

The growth in the number of millionaires in India, from 39,000 in 2000 to 350,000 in 2019, indicates a prospective target segment for premium schools, given the higher fee structures associated with international curricula.

The rise in the number of individuals with high incomes (disclosing income beyond Rs 1 Crore or Rs 50 lakhs) suggests a substantial target segment for international curriculum schools in India.

Increased awareness due to globalization has led parents to prioritize exposure, holistic development, and a balanced approach to education over traditional rote learning methods. This shift in parental preferences has driven the demand for international curriculum schools.

The overall growth trend of 20% in 2019 from the previous year, as indicated by the number of individuals disclosing higher incomes, reflects the sustained demand and expansion of the market for international curriculum schools in India.

Which is the best city in India to start an IB school?

Here is a list of cities that were considered promising for setting up premium IB schools:

Mumbai, Maharashtra: Mumbai, being the financial capital of India, has a population with a high level of awareness about the importance of quality education. The city has a diverse population, including families with a high disposable income.

Delhi, NCR: The National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi and its surrounding areas, has a significant demand for premium education due to a large urban population and a concentration of corporate professionals.

Bangalore, Karnataka: Bangalore, known as the Silicon Valley of India, has a thriving IT industry, attracting a young and educated population. The city has seen a rise in demand for international and premium educational options.

Hyderabad, Telangana: Hyderabad has experienced rapid economic growth, especially in the IT and pharmaceutical sectors. The city’s burgeoning middle class often seeks high-quality education for their children.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Chennai has a well-established education sector and a population that values quality education. The city’s focus on technology and manufacturing industries also contributes to the demand for premium schools.

Pune, Maharashtra: Pune, with its growing IT and manufacturing sectors, has seen an increase in the demand for quality education. The city has a mix of traditional and modern educational institutions.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat: Ahmedabad is an emerging educational hub with a growing economy. The city has witnessed an increasing demand for premium schools as parents place a high value on education.

Kolkata, West Bengal: Kolkata has a rich educational heritage and a population that values quality education. The city’s diverse economic sectors contribute to the demand for premium schools.

Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana: Chandigarh, as a planned city, has a growing population and a demand for quality education. The affluence of the region and the presence of professionals make it a potential location for premium schools.

Jaipur, Rajasthan: Jaipur, with its cultural heritage and economic development, is experiencing growth in various sectors. There is a demand for premium education options in the city.

International Curriculum School Project – Land requirements

There is not set requirement of land when it comes to international curriculum and the bare minimum land size can be equivalent to what a state recognition would be valid for in the country to able to initiate operations. It is advisable to secure land parcels ranging from a minimum of 5 acres to a maximum of 15 acres for the establishment of a IB school.

Challenges to set up International Curriculum School in India.

Major challenges associated in setting up an international curriculum school in a market such as India which is both brand and price sensitive. The Indian market other than being extremely competitive for new promoters to consider development of international curriculum schools have to face the following challenges.

Strong parallel board options and recognition from Indian Universities.

Sourcing Human Resources and Limited Training Avenues.

High Fee Structure of the School

High Capital Investment Venture and Long Gestation Period for Investors.

Recognition of IB – International Baccalaureate with Indian Colleges and Universities.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is recognised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), the regulatory body empowered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to oversee and recognize all education boards in the country.

In India, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council assesses the quality of higher education, professional councils handle course recognition, and the AIU is entrusted with determining equivalences for foreign degrees and certificates. The AIU officially recognized the IB Diploma as an entry-level qualification for university admissions in India in 1983, with a renewal in 2010. As per the AIU, since 1983, the IB Diploma has been equated with the +2 stage (Grade 12) qualification of an Indian Board. Students completing their IB Diploma (12th standard) are eligible to pursue Bachelor’s degree programs at any Indian University.

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