Dubai needs more mid-range schools, report finds

The report from PwC predicted an extra 5,500 private school enrolments by 2021
Dubai needs more mid-range schools, report finds
Schools rated as ‘very good’ or ‘outstanding’, however, were found to charge average fees of more than AED 40,000, suggesting a market gap for schools with mid-range prices.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 06 Dec 2018 10:07 AM

There remains a shortage of K-12 schools in Dubai priced between AED 30,000 and AED 50,000, according to a new study from PwC Middle East.

According to the report, the average fee per student in Dubai is approximately AED 26,000, with the majority of schools charging fees below AED 30,000 and have ratings of ‘good’ or lower.

Schools rated as ‘very good’ or ‘outstanding’, however, were found to charge average fees of more than AED 40,000, suggesting a market gap for schools with mid-range prices.

Additionally, the report noted that higher education enrolment grew between 2013 and 2015, but fell in 2016 because of a 2.5 percent fall in enrolment. If enrolment continues to drop at the same pace, the market will lose over 10,000 students in private higher education by 2021, in what the report termed “a pessimistic scenario.”

However, the UAE’s 18-24 population is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 2 percent, with inbound students numbering 70,000 in 2016.

These figures, taken alongside new visa rules for exceptional students and the arrival of new universities such as the University of Birmingham, are likely to drive a recovery in a “supply driven market, closing gaps resulting from a supply driven market.

An optimistic scenario, the report noted, could see private enrolment continue to grow at a CAGR of 3.5 percent, adding over 21,000 jobs by 2021.

“The reality may be somewhere between these scenarios, where some recovery is expected, but at a growth rate lower than that seen over the past few years,” the study said. “We estimate both public and private enrolment will grow at a CAGR of 0.7 percent resulting in more than 5,500 extra enrolments by 2021.”

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