Does the nationality of students make a difference in terms of the fees you will pay? Statistically yes. Does it make a difference in terms of the results and attainment of the school? Statistically yes. And is it a consideration for parents when choosing a school? Yes - according to the Which School Advisor survey of parents in the Emirate it is.
In the School survey only 2% of parents said that the nationality of students was the single most important criteria, but approximately 80% said it was 'a' criteria when choosing a school. Why parents think this is important is not made clear in the survey, however, superficially academic attainment and nationality appears to go hand in hand.
English National Curriculum schools are not just for British students. British students currently account for only 4.9% of the total student population. UK curriculum schools however account for 31.5% of all schools in Dubai. The maths is not hard - clearly education providers target a "British education" for a wide range of nationalities.
Around 40% of English National Curriculum based schools have British students as the main nationality, 20% have Indian students as the main nationality, 14% Pakistani, 12.5% Arab and 8% Emirati.
It is pretty hard to argue with the chart above. Of the eight Outstanding schools, all have British students as their principal nationality.
Of the Good schools, 11 have British students as their principal nationality, followed by 9 schools also ranked Good with Indians as their principal nationality.
So what do we make of this? Should you be actively targeting schools on the basis of nationality to get the best academic schools? Answer - not really. The reason for this is that the nationality hides other bits of information, notably wealth, propensity to spend on education, expats whose companies pay for schooling, and so forth.
Nationality, fees and attainment are all highly correlated. As well as having British kids, Outstanding schools with great results at I/GCSE, IB Diploma or A Level also tend to charge higher fees, have a better teacher to student ratio, offer more extra-curricular activities and so on. There is a correlation with students also being British, but that does not mean British kids are the reason that schools are Outstanding.
Fees for UK curriculum schools with British students as the main nationality are 44,300 AED, 41,623 for Emirati schools, 18,772 AED for Indian nationality schools, 14,000 AED for Arab nationality schools and 12,000 AED for Pakistani nationality based schools - the limits of what GEMs Education boss, Sunny Varkey has described as economically viable. Naturally you will pay less in lower years, and more in higher years of study.
Note: Price and academic attainment ARE correlated, but it is NOT axiomatic that high fees mean great results. Many other factors come into play for anything as simplistic as this - the principal, the age of the school, the teachers, the school's leadership and management... However, to ignore price would be equally foolish. It is inescapable that the less that is paid, the less a school can spend on its children.
Of the eleven most expensive schools in Dubai, one has Indian as the main nationality of students - Raffles, two have Emirati students as the main nationality (Deira International and Jumeirah Baccalaureate) while the remainder are British curriculum schools - Repton, Dubai College, Jumeirah College, DESC, Wellington, JESS Arabian Ranches, and Regent International.
The average price paid over the course of a school's life varies significantly from year to year, and rises based on grade are not evenly done. For this reason we average the fees out over the course of a student's life at a school to get a more accurate reflection of actual differences between schools. Note however, secondary only schools will be the most expensive schools, and primary only will be the cheapest. For this reason, for the most part we keep any analysis of cost within bands: KG, Primary, Secondary and Post-16.
There is of course wide variation around any mean. The most expensive school in Dubai is Repton, with average annual fees from Foundation/KG to Grade 13 of 67,795 AED. The cheapest school offering in theory the same curriculum is Al Sadiq Islamic English School which charges - for tuition - 4,931 AED per year.
|School||Nationality||Fees KG||Fees Primary||Fees Secondary||Fees Post 16||Fees Average|
|Sharjah English School*||British||40,000|
|Dubai English Speaking College||None||NA||NA||61739||66,358||63,058|
|GEMS Jumeirah Primary School||British||37,045||41,315||NA||NA||40,247|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School||British||34385||38252||NA||NA||37,285|
|GEMS Wellington International School||British||39,817||44,319||64,274||76675||54713|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School - Arabian Ranches||British||34,385||38,252||65661||74991||51771|
|Deira International School||Emirati||31,750||41,893||50129||63970||46229|
|Emirates International School - Jumeirah||Indian||30,140||40,194||50235||63870||44,109|
|Emirates International School - Meadows||Arab||26,645||39,608||50414||66218||45,029|
|Jumeira Baccalaureate School||Emirati||50000||65000||65000||75000||65,384|
|Raffles World Academy||Indian||28737||46392||56743||73150||50,650|
|Repton School Dubai||British||47599||55159||80076||95199||67,795|
|Al Ameen Private School||Indian||4703||5016||5330||5330||5,088|
|Al Diyafah High School||Indian||7404||7660||10730||14580||9,572|
|Al Safa Private School||British||26133||31324||NA||NA||30,026|
|Al Salam Private School||Arab||11,265||12504||16781||22580||15286|
|Cambridge International School||Indian||15,327||17481||20810||20810||18747|
|Dubai British School||British||36,993||40,518||50,212||55,490||45,276|
|Dubai English Speaking School||British||34360||34360||NA||NA||34360|
|Dubai Gem Private School||Indian||9919||10912||14250||19785||13075|
|Dubai Scholars Private School||Indian||11666||13448||14182||17792||14024|
|GEMS Royal Dubai School||British||35539||39639||NA||NA||38614|
|GEMS Wellington Academy - DSO||British||34750||38500||62500||NA||45,875|
|GEMS Wellington Primary School||British||40761||45458||NA||NA||44,284|
|Jebel Ali Primary School||British||36297||36296||NA||NA||36296|
|Pristine Private School||Pakistani||8731||9857||12606||15867||11424|
|Raffles International School South Campus||Arab||28738||44726||56744||NA||46067|
|Regent International School||British||34172||39867||57927||75763||49341|
|St. Mary's Catholic High School||Indian||NA||5099||6742||8412||6199|
|Star International School - Umm Al Sheif||British||29678||39205||51331||NA||39725|
|The English College - Dubai||British||25457||27578||45270||50599||35618|
|The School of Research Science||Emirati||23650||27691||36311||41225||31510|
|The Winchester School||Indian||9923||12542||15518||22135||14464|
|Al Sadiq Islamic English School||Pakistani||3811||4302||6135||NA||4931|
|Apple International School||Pakistani||5861||7094||9930||NA||7415|
|Arab Unity School||Asian||5290||5820||6613||7406||6197|
|Deira Private School||Emirati||19500||24663||NA||NA||23372|
|Dubai Carmel School||Arab||7620||8056||10948||NA||9357|
|GEMS Winchester School||Indian||9377||11851||13283||NA||11792|
|Queen International School||Arab||12844||14047||17464||22483||16056|
|Star International School - Al Twar||Arab||19055||24720||34649||NA||26398|
|Star International School - Mirdif||British||29252||38642||NA||NA||36295|
|The City School International||Pakistani||12349||13846||17491||NA||15018|
|The Oxford School||Pakistani||10135||11511||11958||16068||11840|
|The Sheffield Private School||Pakistani||19117||22701||28078||36050||25795|
|The Westminster School||Pakistani||5392||6661||8355||10483||7566|
The Best British Schools in Dubai Part 1: Start Here
Best British Schools in Dubai: What We Measure
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Data we have Used
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Demand for Places
Best British Schools in Dubai: Post 16 Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Secondary Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British Primary Schools
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British KGs
Best British Schools in Dubai: The WSA Survey, What Current Parents Think
Best British Schools in Dubai: Nationality, Fees and Attainment
Best British Schools in Dubai: A Final Summary
Best British Schools in Dubai Table: Contact Emails and Overview