There will be no school fee increases for the 2013/14 academic year, Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has revealed. The announcement comes in line with the release of the annual Education Cost Index (ECI), calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre at minus one per cent (-1%). ECI is affected by the consumer price index and specifically addresses the costs of running a school, including salaries, rent, and utilities.
The ECI of -1% means that fees will remain unchanged for the 2013/14 academic year.
Mohammed Darwish, Chief of KHDA’s Regulations and Compliance Commission, said: “We are sending communications about the ECI and its implications to all private schools in Dubai, to ensure they are understood clearly. We urge schools to also share this information with parents.”
Under the School Fees Framework released by KHDA in 2012, schools are entitled to increase fees depending on their inspection results and ECI. Schools given an ‘outstanding’ rating from Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) are able to increase fees at double the rate of ECI, those with a ‘good’ rating by one and half times, and schools rated ‘acceptable’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ can increase their fees at the rate of ECI.
The framework allows exemptions to be granted to ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ not-for-profit or embassy schools. Good and outstanding for-profit schools may also be entitled to an exemption provided they make additions to existing buildings; improve educational facilities such as laboratories and libraries; invest in property in order to expand; renovate, demolish or rebuild existing buildings or floors; build additional branches of an existing school; relocate to a new building for the benefit of teaching and learning; or undertake tangible development that improves the quality of education they offer, including provision for special education needs students.
The School Fees Framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long-term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer.
The framework was developed in cooperation with Department of Economic Development, Department of Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, Dubai Statistics Centre and KHDA, and endorsed by The Executive Council in Dubai.