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Private schools in the UK are redoubling their marketing efforts to foreigners. Almost a third of the 68,000 boarding pupils at such schools already come from overseas. But now, with many UK residents unwilling or unable to afford the fees – top boarding schools are edging towards £30,000 ($49,759) a year – and a cultural shift away from boarding, many schools are looking abroad to survive. Sue Fieldman, press officer at The Good Schools Guide, says: “It’s a whole new world out there. Ten years ago, English private schools were full of English pupils. Now you see foreigners in most schools. With the recession, there are gaps in desks and beds. If they can’t fill them with English, they fill them with foreigners, especially Russians and Chinese.” Overseas students now account for about £500m of fee income a year for boarding schools in the UK.

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