International Schools in Tuvalu

Diploma and graduate hat - Fotolia

You will find below a list of the most popular schools for expats in Tuvalu with fee information. The list includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools for you to find the right school and other accreditation in Tuvalu.

Education in Tuvalu

Tuvalu, formerly Ellice Islands, is composed of nine small coral islands scattered in a chain lying approximately northwest to southeast over a distance of some 420 miles (676 km).

Its education system is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16 years. Each island has a primary school, yet sometimes students board at another island during the school term, returning to their home islands each school vacation.

There are twelve primary schools: nine free State schools and three denominational schools requiring the payment of a small registration fee.

Community Training Centres (CTCs) have also been established within the primary schools on each atoll.

The CTCs provide vocational training to students who do not progress beyond Class 8 because they failed the entry qualifications for secondary education. The CTCs offer training in basic carpentry, gardening and farming, sewing and cooking. At the end of their studies the graduates can apply to continue studies either at Motufoua Secondary School or the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute (TMTI).

Adults can also attend courses at the CTCs.

International Schools

International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Tuvalu. Many schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam.
There may be some local population, but the schools are usually geared for an international student body.

Admission and enrolment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.

Accreditation & Membership

  • The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.
  • European Council of International Schools (ECIS) is a collaborative network promoting the ideals and best practice of international education, complemented by grants and awards.
  • Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is a responsive organisation that serves, supports and represents its member schools.
  • New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) is a regional accrediting association which establishes standards for all levels of education, from pre-K to doctoral.
  • Agency for French Education Abroad (Agence pour l'enseignement français à l'étranger, AEFE) is a national public agency under the administration of the French government that assures the quality of schools teaching the French national curriculum outside France.
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) represents over 1100 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad.

International schools in Funafuti

As stated above, there are twelve primary schools. Tuvalu also homes 2 secondary schools: Motufoua Secondary School (MSS) and Fetuvalu High School (FHS).

Motufoua Secondary School
Address: located on Vaitupu Island, one of the Islands in the Central part of Tuvalu.

This is a boarding school. It offers the Fiji Junior Certificate (FJC) at year 10, Tuvaluan Certificate at Year 11 and the Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC) at Year 12, set by the Fiji-based exam board SPBEA. Sixth form students who pass their PSSC go on to the Augmented Foundation Programme, funded by the government of Tuvalu. This program is required for tertiary education programmes outside of Tuvalu and is available at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Extension Centre in Funafuti.

Fetuvalu High School
Address: located on the capital of Tuvaluoffers

Funafuti is not a boarding school, but a day school operated by the Church of Tuvalu. It offers the Cambridge syllabus.

However, none of the schools listed above is considered as “international school”.

There are also three prominent colleges and universities in Tuvalu:

  • the Maritime Training Institute, founded in 1979,
  • an extension centre of the University of South Pacific and
  • a new Technical Education Centre – all located in Funafuti.

The University of South Pacific Extension Centre and the Maritime Training Institute offer limited vocational, degree, and continuing education programs.
The new technical education centre is under development and being financed by aid from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and France. The centre will offer training in carpentry, engineering, plumbing, and secretarial work.