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Dubai-based, GEMS Education is reportedly planning to set up more private schools in the United Kingdom. The company claims that it can offer the same, if not better, quality education as top public academic facilities in the country but for much lower price.
The well known in Dubai operator intends to open six day schools for boys and girls aged three to 18 in different towns and cities across the country over the next two years.
The company plans to charge parents similar fees as in Dubai, in the range from £8,000 (AED46,500) to £12,000 (AED70,000) a year, reports an UK-based newspaper. These prices are said to be lower than the price of some of the country’s leading public schools.
Education in the UK is extremely overpriced, while the quality of it is slowly deteriorating in comparison to education in the United States, according to a number of statistics and research studies published lately.
Chief executive officer of GEMS for the UK, Europe and Africa, Mark Labovitch commented that “huge swaths” of the British middle class families were keen for the opportunity to send their children to private schools, but could not afford what was on offer.
The company’s new private schools will be designed to suit working parents. They will be able to drop their children at school before breakfast and pick them up after rush-hour, in a very similar fashion to Dubai.
Locations of the new schools have not yet been disclosed, but the new facilities will be spread across parts of the country with high demand.
Headteachers of a number of private schools in the UK opposed the plans and warned against what they view as a “cut-price education”.
However, launching “cut-price” private schools concept in the current economic climate is a very smart investment, especially with the British economy in recession since January 2009.
The Dubai-based GEMS Education is known locally for its outstanding facilities and it is very much possible the new schools in the UK to offer much better equipped campuses than the already established over-priced competitors. Judging from the education standards of Dubai-based Repton school, that are much lower than these of a Government-managed free of charge schools in Bulgaria, for example, it seems there is a room for improvement in the standards of British schools.
GEMS Education runs nearly 100 schools of different curriculums worldwide. The company already operates 10 schools in the UK, but these were mainly acquired by the operator, rather than purposely built by it.
Since 2008, many large Dubai-based companies re-focused their investments strategies to the United Kingdom, with the most notable of them DAMAC Properties.