Which City is Most Expensive for School Fees?

A new study has ranked cities for the most expensive private school fees, and the most expensive as a percentage of accommodation costs... So which city 'wins' this dubious honour?

A new study has found that school fees in Dubai are the highest in the Middle East and 14th highest globally.

The report from International School’s Database analysed the school fees of schools from 32 cities around the world to find out where parents were paying the most.

Also see: Dubai School Fee Trends

The report found that the average Dubai parent spent just over $1,000 dollars per month on educating their child, placing the city 14th in the global cost ratings.

Spare a thought  however, for parents in Shanghai who spend a staggering $2,783 per month on tuition fees. In third to fifth place came Switzerland’s top three cities with parents paying between $1,800 and $2,100 per month.

In fifth place was Seoul with $1,700 and Singapore at $1,600 per month.

In the Middle East, parents pay an average of $750 per month in Doha, $650 in Abu Dhabi and $400 in Riyadh.

ISC also compared the price paid for education against rental prices within each city to determine whether school fees were out of balance, or in balance, with the general costs of living within the city.

Once again, Dubai was ranked the most expensive city in the GCC with tuition fees equaling just over 46 percent of the average rental price paid.

Abu Dhabi fared significantly better with school fees half this price and equating to around 27 percent of the average rental costs.

Read more: Up to date Abu Dhabi school fees and trends

Shanghai again, proved the most expensive global city, with tuition fees equaling almost 140 percent of rental fees.

"There is significant correlation between local rents and international education costs," said the authors. "In the majority of cities both costs tend to go hand-in-hand, which means that cheaper cities tend to have cheaper tuition fees while more expensive cities also have more expensive international schools.

The report added that this suggested that international schools do not only depend on generous expat packages paid by big companies, they also (and often mostly) depend on locals and expats on locally-indexed salaries.

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


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