Top private schools in the UK have seen a sharp rise in applications from wealthy foreign families, since the sterling’s fall following last year’s Brexit vote, The Independent reports.
In its annual Wealth Report, realty consultancy group Knight Frank reported that a cheap pound has made the UK’s private schools more competitive than the often preferred location of the US.
The report details the habits of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) – those who have $30m (£24m) or more in net assets.
Chinese students make up the highest proportion of overseas pupils by far, with the number of Chinese pupils in UK private schools increasing by more than 190 per cent in the past decade.
Commenting on evidence published in the report, Ed Richardson, director of education at Keystone Tutors, said:
“Currency, quality of life and access to the best universities are the key trends boosting demand for a British education. Ambitious families in Singapore have traditionally sent their children to schools in the US, not necessarily because they think they are better, but because of the cost. Now, they are telling me that the fall in the value of the pound is making the UK look much better value. That sentiment will be echoed in many other places.”
Commenting within the Knight Frank report, William Petty, a director of Bonas MacFarlane, said one of the first questions many overseas parents asked schools was how many people from their own country were already in attendance.
While most schools try to keep the level of overseas students at under 20 per cent, he said, they are also keen to ensure a diverse mix.
“In a world where business is becoming increasingly global, having your children make friends with people from lots of different nationalities is considered very attractive,” he added.