Revealed: Most and least expensive cities for international education - Gulf Business
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Revealed: Most and least expensive cities for international education

Revealed: Most and least expensive cities for international education

The annual ranking has some interesting findings, particularly in the Gulf region

International Schools Database (ISD) has published its latest analysis of education costs around the world.

The 2018 ranking of 40 cities, based on the median price of a full term for one six-year-old child excluding one-time fees, features some expected names at the top and bottom but also some surprising ones.

For example, parents from the wealth Gulf region will be surprised to hear that international education in a number of major capitals is among the cheapest on the list.

This is despite fees increasing on an annual basis at most institutions.

Read: Nearly two thirds of Dubai schools can increase fees by 3.6% or more

ISD also compared the cost of living in each city for its 2018 analysis in partnership with sister site, using monthly rent for an 85 square metre furnished apartment in an expensive area on May 10, 2018.

The resulting chart of international school fees as a percentage of rent prices shows that in some cities parents are paying more for monthly schooling their children than they are for rent.

One example is the cost of international schooling in Beijing, which at $2,519 is around 20 per cent more than the average monthly rent of $2,091. In contrast, schools in Copenhagen cost just 15 per cent of the typical monthly rent of $2,435.

Most expensive cities for international schooling

As the table shows, the most expensive cities for international education in 2018 are mainly in Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries remain far from the top of the ranking.

Dubai in 24th is the most expensive entry from the region with a monthly schooling cost of $964, around 42 per cent of the average rent of $2,314.

In comparison, the Saudi and Bahraini capitals Riyadh and Manama are tied at third cheapest with a monthly international schooling cost of $422.

Lease expensive cities for international schooling

Overall ISD found that international school fees generally matched cost of living.

“This seems to suggest that international schools do not only depend on generous expat packages paid by big companies; they also (and mostly) depend on locals and expats on locally-indexed salaries,” the company said.

“This would explain why their prices fall in line with the local cost-of-living for expats.”


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