More government land is to be made available for new international schools in Singapore as an influx of expats are expected over the next 15 years.

While the children of expats can currently secure a place at an international school, officials are concerned that as the 5.6 million population of the city state is projected to grow 30% by 2030 more schools are needed.

As much of this growth will come from expats with the government projecting a major rise in immigration due to a slowing birth rate and ageing population, it is expected that the greatest demand will be for international schools.

The Economic Development Board, which controls all land that can be zoned for international school use, is to release new sites with 30 year leases. It has asked existing international schools and those who may be interested in opening a new one to notify them of their plans.

Singapore currently has 83 international schools and kindergartens that teach in English with 5,667 full time staff and 58,785 students, according to the International School Consultancy, which provides data on the international school market. Just under half of the schools are British in their approach.

An EDB spokesman said that the parcels of land will have a 30 year lease and details of these sites and their specifications will be announced at briefing next month, but the Government will only decide whether to proceed with awarding the sites at the end of a consultation period.

The EDB said the consultation exercise will ensure that there is a range of high quality schools and curricula available to meet the diverse educational needs of children of international executives in Singapore.

‘Availability of quality schools for children of international executives is a key consideration when they decide on a posting location. Foreign system schools play a part in strengthening Singapore’s position as an attractive global city and home for business,’ said Alvin Tan, EDB’s assistant managing director.

‘The long tenure of the proposed land sites will encourage schools to invest in the necessary infrastructure and resources to deliver high quality education options,’ he added.

The first lot of land for international schools was released in 2008 when demand for international schools peaked and many of these schools were either full or had waiting lists.
To relieve pressure on these schools, the government released more land in 2008 and 2010 and then in 2012.

International schools that were successfully awarded land sites in previous exercises include the prestigious British independent school Dulwich College, Stamford American International School, as well as the Overseas Family School’s newest campus in Pasir Ris that will be ready by August this year.