Dubai private schools permitted to increase fees


Once again, Dubai’s private schools have been permitted to increase their already quite high fees. Depending on their inspection rating, schools are allowed now by the local regulator to increase between 2.4 per cent and 4.8 per cent for the next academic year (2017-18).

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) has set the new annual Education Cost Index (ECI) at 2.4 per cent.

According to KHDA’s Fees Framework, outstanding schools will be eligible for an “adjustment” of up to double the ECI; very good schools are eligible for up to 1.75 times the amount; good schools are eligible for 1.5 times the amount; and rest are allowed an increase equivalent to the ECI.

The ECI takes into account school operating costs, which include teacher salaries, rent, maintenance, electricity and water charges, among a basket of other commodities.

For this school year, 18 private schools have been deemed “outstanding” by the KHDA. For the current school year (2016-17), the ECI had been set at 3.21 per cent, it was announced in February last year.

Meanwhile, salaries in the UAE have not been increased, but local employers are rather cutting costs and reducing the number of their employees.

School inspections are structured around six performance standards, which reflect an overall performance judgement, by the inspections framework. Still, overall education in the country remains rather at average levels according to international standards. The fee increase framework has been applied on annual basis for the past five years.

Parents can estimate the school fees increase as per the following guidelines:

  • School fee hike limit for 2017-18 year
  • School rating Maximum fee hike
  • Outstanding 4.8 per cent
  • Very Good 4.2 per cent
  • Good 3.6 per cent
  • Acceptable 2.4 per cent
  • Weak 2.4 per cent
  • Very Weak 2.4 per cent

New private schools do not have the right to increase tuition fees for the first three years of operation.


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