Dubai private schools allowed to raise fees by up to 5.2 percent

KHDA has announced an Education Cost Index (ECI) of 2.6 per cent for the 2024-2025 academic year 

Dubai, Apr 2, 2024: Private schools in Dubai are permitted to adjust their fees based on their performance in the latest annual inspections. The announcement of Education Cost Index (ECI) of 2.6 per cent for the 2024-2025 academic year, made by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), allows schools to increase their fees by up to double the ECI of 2.6 per cent, which is 5.2 percent, if they improve their rating from Weak to Acceptable or from Acceptable to Good. 

Schools moving from Good to Very Good will benefit from an increase of up to 1.75 times the ECI, which is 4.55 per cent and schools improving their rating from Very Good to Outstanding will be eligible to increase their fees by up to 1.5 times the ECI, which is 3.9 percent. Schools maintaining the same inspection rating can raise their fees by up to 2.6 per cent.  

However, schools that have experienced a decline in their ratings will not be eligible to seek any fee increment. 

The ECI is based on the annual audited financial statements of private schools in Dubai, which outline the operational cost of running a private school to offer a high quality of education, and is calculated in collaboration with Digital Dubai Authority.  

Under the School Fees Framework, the rate by which schools can adjust their fees is tied to each school’s most recent inspection rating. Any fee adjustment by schools must be approved by KHDA. 

Shamma AlMansouri, Director of Permits at KHDA says, “Aligning the fee adjustment with schools’ inspections ratings emphasises the quality offered by schools, while enhancing the competitiveness of the sector and encouraging schools to meet the needs of parents by catering to the needs of a diverse student body to ensure access to high quality education for all children. 

“Furthermore, the application of a scientific methodology to monitor and analyse the audited financial statements of private schools in Dubai allows for a transparent process that takes into account the interests of all our stakeholders and ensures continuous improvement in the quality of education offered by schools while also safeguarding the sustainability of the private schools’ sector.” 

The School Fees Framework was introduced to allow schools to develop long-term growth plans while contributing to a robust and reliable private education sector that offers families a choice of high-quality education. 

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of students were enrolled in schools rated Good or better during the last academic year.  

Enrolment at Dubai private schools increased by 12 per cent since the last academic year. More than 365,000 students attend 220 private schools offering 17 different curricula in Dubai. 

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