International school fee revenues in the Gulf top $10bn, popularity set to rise - report
International school fee revenues in the Gulf have topped $10 billion and their rise in the region is set to continue, according to research.
Nalini Cook, head of Middle East Research, ISC Research, revealed that average annual school fees in international schools in the region hover at around $8,000.
In the UAE, the average school fees per year is $7,747 while in Saudi Arabia parents have to pay a little bit less at $6,325.
The research showed that fees are higher in Kuwait where average annual fees in international schools is $8,069 and go further north in Qatar where fees stand at an annual average of $9,235.
“Despite school fees being some of the highest in the world, the rise of international schools in the region will continue as revenues reached over $10.62 billion across the territory,” said Cook.
The research also showed that Dubai is now home to 283 international schools – including nurseries, primary and secondary schools – the most of any of city in the world.
Madrid is second, with 184 international schools with Abu Dhabi placed third, with 154. As a country, the UAE leads the world in the number of pupils enrolled in international schools – 604,983 – and is placed second behind China for the total number of private schools in the world (601).
The research was presented to the IPSEF Middle East Forum in Dubai where delegates heard that structural reforms are underway in the education sector in the GCC, as the region grapples with changing market demands and outcomes.
Roland Hancock, director, Education, PwC, said the GCC is also embracing increasing private sector participation including potential public-private partnerships as a way to deliver higher academic standards that are increasingly being demanded throughout the region, especially in the UAE.
Rhona Greenhill, co-founder, IPSEF, added: “The dynamics of the private and international schools market in the GCC is becoming more complex, with many crucial factors coming into play – from regulatory frameworks to quality standards, as well as teacher recruitment and student assessment."