Figures show that education sector is still growing overall despite school capacity falling
The number of pupils enrolled in private schools in Dubai rose from 273,599 in 2016/17 to 281,432 in 2017/18 according to the latest figures from Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
The KHDA’s Dubai Private Education Landscape 2017-18 report said the rise enrolment was aided by 11 new schools that opened in the 2017-18 academic year in Dubai.
Figures also showed that Dubai’s private schools earned AED7.5bn ($2.04bn) in revenue from tuition fees in the 2017/2018 academic year, an AED700m ($190m) increase from the previous year.
The rise in enrolments reveals an evolving education sector. Despite anecdotal evidence that may suggest otherwise, the data shows that the sector is still growing.
However, schools capacity has dropped from 88.6 percent capacity in 2016 to 85 percent this year, indicating an increase in supply that is outweighing the increase in demand.
Pupils may also be relocating from other schools to take advantage of more flexible pricing structures. While 15 percent of students in Dubai were enrolled in a private school for the first time in 2017-18, eight percent were transferred from another private school in the emirate.
Earlier in June, Dubai’s Executive Council put a freeze on all private school fees for 2018-2019, which His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, said was “in order to reduce the financial burden on parents.”
This follows moves by some schools to respond to the changing market. Horizon International School in Dubai reduced its fees by up to 33 percent, while 22 Dubai schools froze their fees in 2017, according to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.
Average fees for a student were AED 26,856 ($7,311) though 53 percent of students pay less than AED20,000 in tuition fees. The figure is 4.5 percent less from the percentage reported last year.