logo aisa

Full Member School

Proud Member badge RGBBeing a member of AISA means that you will have immediate opportunities to strengthen and develop your school team. AISA's professional learning programme is needs-based, challenging and differentiated. AISA is the only professional learning provider in Africa that offers such a diverse programme specifically tailored for leading international schools on the continent. Our learning programme and services are beneficial for those employed across your entire school. Whether being accessed by a head teacher, a middle-school leader, a junior teacher, early year’s teacher, or school support staff, AISA membership is a powerful tool for driving relevant and lasting improvement in your classrooms and board rooms.

Group Membership is available for 5 or more schools that are defined by uniform branding, common governance, single incorporation (if applicable) and a centralized management office. Each school of the group will be assessed individually for membership eligibility of AISA, and categorised accordingly as either a Full or Affiliate member. Each school in the group will have a separate entry in the AISA Membership Directory. 

Eligibility Criteria

Full Membership is available to elementary and/or secondary schools within Africa that demonstrate international-mindedness and intercultural competence as reflected by an appropriate aggregation of the following attributes:

  1. An explicit reference to the promotion of international-mindedness and intercultural competence in its mission (see definitions below).
  2. A school offering an international education (see definition below).
  3. Achievement of accreditation or authorization by an AISA recognized agency outside the host country, or
    Authorization for at least two IB programmes for schools that offer elementary and secondary education. Elementary schools offering the PYP would be considered for membership.


International mindedness – an understanding and celebration of the value of diversity in all its forms; empathy for those who are different while retaining pride in one’s own identity.

An Internationally Minded AISA school community:

  • is committed to defining global culturalism and identifying its ideals
  • engages in the building of global citizenship through the development of an individual’s own cultural identity
  • aligns school-wide resources with fundamental values and beliefs
  • promotes respectful and sensitive attitudes toward persons different from oneself
  • values academic diversity of the faculty and staff
  • ensures that the values and benefits of the vision are understood and accepted by all constituents
  • ensures informed decision-making and planning take place to confront racial, ethnic and religious discrimination

(adapted from Swetz, 2014)

Intercultural competence – the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills and attitudes.

An Interculturally Competent AISA school community:

  • understands the cultures (values, norms and beliefs) their students bring to school and, equally importantly, the ways these influence how the students learn;
  • understands that their student populations are not intellectually, ethnically, culturally or nationally homogeneous;
  • recognizes the importance of addressing the complexities associated with language learning and in their schools;
  • builds an international consciousness for a “better world”;
  • works with parents and other community groups;
  • using culturally sensitive conversation techniques and support teachers developing an array of suitable techniques at their disposal;
  • leads staff of different cultural and national backgrounds;
  • understands the context of a situation and appropriately choose the correct leadership style;
  • helps new staff settle into their school; and
  • provides development opportunities so teachers are both aware of and have the capacity to teach students from different cultural and national backgrounds

(adapted from Walker & Cheong, 2009)

International education describes the education occurring within an international school.

An AISA School offering an International Education:

  • develops citizens of the world in relation to culture, language, and the capacity to live together;
  • builds and reinforces students’ sense of identity and cultural awareness;
  • fosters students’ recognition and development of universal human values;
  • stimulates curiosity and inquiry in order to foster a spirit of discovery and enjoyment of learning;
  • equips students with skills to learn and acquire knowledge, individually or collaboratively, and to apply these skills and knowledge accordingly across a broad range of areas;
  • provides international content while responding to local requirements and interests;
  • encourages diversity and flexibility in teaching methods; and
  • provides appropriate forms of assessment and international benchmarking.

(adapted from International Baccalaureate Organization 2016)

AISA Recognised Accreditation Agencies

Currently, AISA recognises Accreditation/Authorization from the following agencies:

Advancing Excellence in Education Worldwide (AdvancED)
Council of International Schools (CIS)
CfBT Education Trust
Authorised International Baccalaureate World School (at least two IB programmes required)
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) 
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) 
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Council of British International Schools (COBIS)
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) (Accreditation provided by the Independent Quality and Assurance Agency (IQAA). Accreditation must include the optional 'Governance and Management' section to be eligible for Full Member status with AISA)

Member Application Process

  1. Complete the School Member Inquiry Form. This will provide an indication of your eligibility for membership.
  2. Should you meet the AISA membership criteria (see above) you will be invited to submit a full online application form. 
  3. AISA will invoice you for the non-refundable US$150 application fee. Please note that your full application will not be processed until the fee has been submitted.
  4. Applications will be processed on a monthly basis by the Membership Committee of the AISA Board.
  5. If successful, you are required to pay your annual membership fee within 3 months to active your membership. Click here to find out more information about Membership Fees.
  6. Note that AISA does not offer partial or prorated annual subscriptions. Payment of the annual membership dues is for the entire membership year from July 1st – to June 30th.