UAE parents pay twice global average for education

Country is second only to Hong Kong in spending on children’s education, says HSBC
By Sarah Townsend
Thu 06 Jul 2017 09:36 AM

Parents in the UAE spend more than double the global average on their children’s education, according to a new report from HSBC.

On average, parents across the world say they spend $44,221 on education – which includes school and university fees, buying school uniforms and other related expenses, the report states.

In the UAE, however, parents say they spend $99,378 on their children’s education – more than twice the global average.

The UAE is ranked as having the second highest spend on education of 15 places listed by HSBC in its report. Hong Kong tops the list with an average spend on education of $132,161. Singapore comes third, with an average spend of $70, 939.

The figures are based on the average between paid-for and state-funded education in all cases, HSBC said. So the global average of $44,221 takes into account an average $67,502 spent per set of parents on private education and $32,647 on state-funded education, including primary, secondary, tertiary and undergraduate level.

Overall, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of parents fund their child’s education through ‘day-to-day income’, and 36 percent from general savings, investments or insurance. Around a fifth (21 percent) fund their child’s educaton through a specific education savings or investment plan, HSBC found.

The findings are likely to reignite concern over the rising cost of education in the UAE – which has been a topic of fierce debate in recent months.

An analysis of UAE school fees by Arabian Business in May revealed that the annual revenue of Dubai schools alone jumped 11.48 percent during the 2016-2017 session.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said in its latest annual report that total fees collected by 185 schools in the emirate reached $1.85 billion (AED6.8bn) in 2016-2017 from $1.66bn (AED6.1bn) in 2015-2016.

Meanwhile, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar has warned that private school fees are too high in the region and threaten to exclude poorer children from the education system.

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