IPSEF has announced its speaker line up and agenda for the only pan-regional business conference for private and international schools,

The event is taking place at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai from 3-5th October and will continue to draw together the wide range of stakeholders necessary to finance, plan, design, construct, staff, equip, manage and regulate new schools.

Attended by independent schools and school chains from the UK, the wider Middle East, Asia and the USA, IPSEF supports schools looking to open branches overseas through its conference programme which features case studies from schools that have opened, as well as covering the latest regulations in Dubai, and themes such as how to identify and work with investors and to recruit and retain key staff.

Comprising two days of stimulating presentation, an optional full day of school visits and a relaxed networking reception, participants leave inspired and connected to high level contacts across the educational supply chain.

Speakers will bring their knowledge and perspectives from across the Middle East, with global perspectives from the Asia and Europe.

PwC’s Director for Education, Roland Hancock, will present the latest market trends in education in the GCC, taking a perspective on the impact of global trends within education regionally. The discussion will cover nurseries, K-12, Higher Education and Vocational training and provide insights on what is changing from a policy, operator and investor perspective and how each can react to the drivers of change.

Meanwhile, Nalini Cook, Head of Middle East Research at ISC Research, will present the latest data on the English-medium K-12 international schools market in the Middle East, and will highlight some of the development opportunities and challenges ISC predicts for the future of the market.

The Dubai regulators, the KHDA, will also be present to share their perspectives of the market and to engage with schools who are considering setting up operations in the Emirate. They will also offer schools and investors attending IPSEF the chance to have private meetings with their senior officials.

In addition to Hancock and Cook, other confirmed speakers include Carolyn Savage, Head of Education, Winter’s International School Finder who will talk about Mindfulness in Education, the concept of which has been around for many years, and which is of particular importance and interest to the authorities in Dubai.

IPSEF also explores school design and construction issues as well as how design innovations are impacting teaching and learning in classrooms.

Whilst IPSEF Middle East strengthens its position as the leading source of market information for stakeholders of the private and international schools market, Mark Roelofsen, Co-Founder of IPSEF, says “This year, however, we are adding the Higher Education Forum alongside our Middle East event to expand our coverage of the issues confronting the education sector”. 

Vocational and/or technical education programmes are sporadic and largely unregulated, perhaps it being an unattractive option. But that could change in the next few years as the growing disconnect between university education and the workplace becomes more and more evident.

“Vocational education is currently being considered a potential solution for the skills gap in the workplace. A lot of university or college graduates seem unprepared for the constantly evolving marketplace. This and other education trends will be explored at our next conference in the Middle East,” said Roelofsen.