International State of the Admission Industry 2019

The Changing World of International School Admission

Deepening enrollment concerns. An applicant pool in flux. Swiftly shifting business practices. High-impact local policies and global politics. Changing professional expectations. The 2019 International School Admission Industry Report explores these challenges and offers strategies to thrive in an increasingly complex admission environment.

“Increased competition, global market changes, and a changing student demographic, all highlighted in this report illustrate the need for modern enrollment managers to be trained and treated as senior level administrators. The continued success of schools depends on strong enrollment professionals.”
— Nicholas Kent
Associate Head of School, Western Reserve Academy


In partnership with ISC Research, we are pleased to present the second iteration of this report, which delves even more deeply into industry trends.

International school admission leaders have always been crucial in securing the sustainability of their tuition-driven schools. Today, their work happens in the context of great change in the education market, the economy, the political environment, and business practice. Their work also happens in the context of great growth; to meet growing worldwide demand, the number of international schools has grown nearly five-fold in the last two decades, according to ISC Research.

This fast-changing and increasingly complex enrollment picture compels international school admission leaders to take their work to the next level. While 20 years ago the admission office was the “hospitality hub” of the school, today it must also be a research hub, a data hub, and a marketing hub. And just as admission professionals must elevate their work, so too should school leaders acknowledge this increased complexity and commit to supporting admission leaders in building the requisite skills.

The 2019 International School Admission Industry Report illuminates many of the challenges and opportunities facing the international school admission industry. We hope it informs discussion and collaboration among schools. At The Enrollment Management Association, we look forward to deepening our partnership with international schools by providing more research, tools, training, and networking opportunities. 

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