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Brace for School Fee Rises – KHDA, ECI

Brace for School Fee Rises – KHDA, ECI

The Dubai Statistics Centre has announced the Education Cost Index as 2.92%, giving schools the right to raise their fees by as much as twice that, according to a release sent by Dubai’s education regulator, the KHDA.

The UAE already has the highest cost of schooling within the GCC.

The Education Cost Index, which is calculated by Dubai Statistics Centre on an annual basis, is affected by several factors including consumer price index and school operation costs, including remuneration, rent and utilities. In line with this announcement, schools will be permitted to accommodate cost adjustments for the academic year 2015/16.

According to the KHDA’s Fee Framework, Outstanding schools are eligible for a raise of up to double the ECI, Good schools are eligible for up to 1.5 times the amount and the rest will be granted the ECI rate. The next set of KHDA reports will be released in April/May and will determine the school fee rises Dubai institutions can apply for.

However, as an example, parents with children at an Outstanding school that today charges 70,000 AED per year for Grade 12, would see their bills rising by 4,500 AED – or 1,500 AED per term.

If they had more than one child, they would then multiply the figure…

The median number of children Dubai parents have is 2 according to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com surveys.

“The fees framework balances the needs of schools and parents,” explained Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Permits Commission at KHDA. “We are witnessing steady growth within the education sector, leading to increased stability. The ECI is directly linked to inflation and an increased cost in living.”


Following the public announcement of DSIB’s annual ratings, schools wishing to change their fees must still apply to KHDA’s Regulations and Permits Commission for approval.

The fee framework, which has been applied for the past four years, has been developed in line with the strategic goals of KHDA and is connected with Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s quality indicators. Prior to its implementation, extensive research was carried out, including numerous surveys with parents and investors.

The framework motivates schools to improve the quality of education, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of both parents and investors.

For a list of school fees in Dubai, go here

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