Dubai: The average tuition fees in private schools increased by six per cent from the last academic year, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s (KHDA) report, the ‘Private Schools Landscape in Dubai 2012-2013’, has revealed.
The report, which aims to provide schools, parents and policy makers with up-to-date data to help make decisions, included 225,099 students from 153 Dubai private schools that offer 15 different curriculums.
The report showed that the Dubai private school population has increased by 8.7 per cent which mean that 88.7 per cent of all Dubai students attend private schools, an increase of 17,981 students.
Due to the increase in the Dubai population specifically and the UAE as a whole, private schools in Dubai have doubled over the last decade with a solid average growth of 7.3 per cent each year. The number of schools has also increased by 30 per cent since 2007 and increased by five schools since last year.
This in turn has resulted in an increase in the number of teachers by 8.7 per cent. The report revealed that out of the 14,333 teachers employed in the academic year 2012/13, 23 per cent of all teachers were new and more than half of them were recruited from other countries.
“Over the past year, Dubai has witnessed growth across many strategic sectors, creating greater employment opportunities for skilled professionals. New and existing schools have shown they are able to keep up with the demand created by this growth. That the majority of new teachers in Dubai’s schools were recruited from abroad proves that Dubai continues to be a highly sought-after destination for talented educators worldwide,” said Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Director-General of the KHDA.
Tuition fees also increased this year by six per cent. The report stated that in most schools tuition fees increase by grade level. While 45 per cent of students at Dubai private schools pay less than Dh10,000 per year in tuition fees, the average tuition fee paid by a student at a private school in Dubai is Dh18,196.
Dubai private school tuition fees vary from Dh1,725 per year in lower priced private schools to Dh96,140 for grade 12 in the most expensive schools. Some 53 per cent of KG1 students pay less than Dh10,000 per year and only 34 per cent of grade 12 students pay less than Dh10,000 per year.
The total annual gross revenue by private schools from tuition fees alone is Dh4.1 billion which shows an increase of 16.3 per cent from last year
As for the curriculum, the report found that while private schools offer a total of 15 types of curriculum, the UK, US, Indian and UAE Ministry of Education curriculum cater to 90 per cent of the private school student population. The UK curriculum has the highest number of students enrolled with 70,860 students which account for 31.5 per cent of all private school enrolments.
UK curriculums also have the fastest growth rate compared with US and Indian curriculum schools, while private ministry of education and Iranian curriculum schools share the lowest growth with almost no changes in four years.
In terms of nationalities, out of the 177 different nationalities attending Dubai private schools, Indian students comprise more than one third of students at private schools. Students from the Middle East and North African countries, including Emiratis. comprise 27 per cent.
The report also found that there were more students in junior grades than in senior ones due to the general growth of the population and because some families leave Dubai when their children get older.
Kindergarten grades have the highest rate growth in comparison to last year with an increase of 14.7 per cent. A reduction in the number of students is evident after grade 10 with a small per cent of expatriates leaving Dubai to complete their education in their home countries.