Biggest international school in Romania invests EUR 2 mln in new tech center

The American International School of Bucharest (AISB), the oldest and biggest international school in Romania, plans to invest some EUR 2 million in developing a new technology center, in the 2017/2018 school year.

The AISB design & technology center aims to offer students a fully immersive experience by combining traditional learning with modern design processes, allowing students to explore, innovate, and experiment.

“One of its kind in Europe, this will be a state of the art learning hub that will combine academics and creativity with the power of doing,” according to AISB representatives.

The center project will span over 2,500 sqm, which include some existing facilities that will be reconverted as well as new facilities. The school aims to raise EUR 500,000 from donations to cover part of the costs.

AISB has invested EUR 7 million in the school year 2016/2017, EUR 6.5 million of which went into developing a new early education center for children between two and five. The school has also invested EUR 0.5 million in modernizing and equipping classrooms with the latest technology, in revamping the physics lab and the new library.

“The money from tuition fees is permanently for investments in increasing the quality of the educational process. We aim to offer AISB students the best learning conditions,” said AISB director Robert Brindley.

AISB had revenues of EUR 16.5 million in the 2016 financial year, EUR 13 million of which came from tuition fees. Most of the money goes to the school stuff’s salaries and benefits, namely some EUR 10.5 million in 2016. The school has a team of 222 people of 16 nationalities, including 42 Americans, 22 Romanians, and 17 Brits.

AISB has 823 students in the 2016/2017 school year, 169 of whom enrolled in the last 12 months. The students come from 56 countries, with 30% of them being Romanians, 15% Americans, 5% Turks, 5% Israeli, and 4% German.

The demand for enrollments is about 20% higher for the 2017/2018 school year, most of it coming from Romanians. The school’s rules don’t allow it to accept more than 30% of students of a single nationality in each class, so the school can only receive about 5% of the eligible candidates. “Most requests come from Romanian families. We have about 50 such requests each year,” says Catalina Gardescu, admissions & external relations manager AISB.

The number of Romanians who return from abroad to take managerial positions in local companies has also increased in recent years, as some multinationals prefer to repatriate Romanians instead of bringing expats to run their local subsidiaries, according to Catalina Gardescu. In their case, the company usually pays for the children’s tuition. However, most of the Romanians who want to enroll their children at AISB are wealthy locals who are willing to pay the tuition fees themselves.

The AISB students are aged 2 to 18 and the tuition fees vary from EUR 6,868 to EUR 20,080, depending on age.

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(Photo source: AISB on Facebook)

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