Seoul to halt plan to lure int’l schools

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Seoul to halt plan to lure int’l schools

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Friday it will suspend a project to attract international schools to the city, as the number of potential applicants has dwindled amid the persistent global economic slowdown.

The city government has decided not to establish the Gaepo International School in the city’s southern district of Gangnam, which is the latest of its yearslong project to set up foreign schools, according to its officials.

Aimed to promote foreign investment by improving educational environments for potential investors’ children, the city government launched the project in 2008 to build more international schools. So far, two such schools - Dulwich College Seoul in Seocho District, southern Seoul, and Dwight International School Seoul in Mapo District, western Seoul - are up and running, enrolling some 1,080 students combined.

“Additional foreign schools have been deemed unnecessary, as the Dulwich school has already met the demand in the region, and another five existing ones have begun internationally-certified programs,” said Choi Dong-yun, a city official in charge of measures to promote the city’s economy.

While the capacity of foreign schools has increased by 32 percent in Seoul since 2007, the number of foreigners aged 5 to 19 residing in the city, the potential applicants for international schools here, amounted to 9,942 as of September 2012, down 16 percent from 2007, with those from English-speaking countries plummeting by 71 percent during the cited period, according to the data compiled by Seoul.


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