Dubai Allows Private Schools to Increase Fees by up to 5.2%

Private schools in Dubai will be able to increase their fees by up to 5.2 per cent, depending on how they fared in the latest annual inspections. Schools whose ratings dropped will not be eligible to apply for any fee increase.

This came as Dubai’s education regulator Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced an Education Cost Index (ECI) of 2.6 per cent, based on which schools can adjust their fees for the 2024-25 academic year.

The increase rate is tied to each institute’s rating in inspections that the regulator carries out each year. Any fee adjustment by schools must be approved by the KHDA.

Here are the calculations:

  • Schools that improve their rating from ‘Weak’ to ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Good’ can increase their fees by up to double the ECI of 2.6 per cent, which is 5.2 per cent.
  • Schools moving from ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’ will benefit from an increase of up to 1.75 times the ECI. That’s an increase of up to 4.55 per cent.
  • Schools improving their rating from ‘Very Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ will be eligible to increase their fees by up to 1.5 times the ECI, which is 3.9 per cent.
  • Schools that maintain the same inspection rating will be allowed to increase their fees by up to 2.6 per cent.

The Education Cost Index is based on the annual audited financial statements of private schools in Dubai. It outlines the operational cost of running a school and is calculated in collaboration with the Digital Dubai Authority.

This is the second year straight that schools are allowed to increase fees after they remained unchanged for three years (2020-21; 2021-22; and 2022-23) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Educational institutions were allowed to hike fees up to 6 per cent in the 2023-24 academic year.

Shamma AlMansouri, director of Permits at KHDA, said: “Aligning the fee adjustment with schools’ inspections ratings emphasises the quality offered by schools, while enhancing the competitiveness of the sector.

“Furthermore, the application of a scientific methodology to monitor and analyse the audited financial statements of private schools in Dubai allows for a transparent process that takes into account the interests of all our stakeholders. It ensures continuous improvement in the quality of education offered by schools while also safeguarding the sustainability of the private schools’ sector.”

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of students were enrolled in schools rated ‘Good’ or better during the last academic year. Enrolment at Dubai private schools increased by 12 per cent since the last academic year. More than 365,000 students attend 220 private schools offering 17 different curricula in Dubai.

Source: Khaleej Times

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