Fee Hike forces Students to Return to India

Afshan Ahmed
Filed on May 14, 2010

DUBAI The increase in fees at Indian schools has been found as the chief reason for more than 5,000 students being sent back home for education, according to the Consulate-General of India in Dubai.

A survey finding presented by Venu Rajamony, Consul-General of India to Dubai, at the Centre for Development Studies in Kerala indicates that the number of Transfer Certificates issued has increased for some Indian schools but decreased for others. The report, titled “The Impact of Financial Crisis on Indian Migrant Workers in the UAE”, states “fees (are a) more important factor than recession”.

Though the number of certificates issued has dipped this year, putting a rest to the speculation of an exodus of students, the official body has noticed that the decision by parents to educate students in India can be attributed to fee hikes that have been noticed in almost all schools in the UAE.

Around 5,038 TCs were issued during 2008-2009, compared with 5,107 during 2007-2008 by the consulate. Of the 15 schools that have seen a change in outflow of students, eight schools have witnessed a rise in pullouts. Three GEMS schools have issued a total of 500 certificates to students who will continue their education in India.

“GEMS has seen an increase in approximately 2,000 students and a 5 per cent increase on the waiting list in comparison to last year,” Richard Forbes, director of Marketing and Communications - GEMS, told Khaleej Times. The group issued more than 1,000 certificates between January and April this year but Forbes said the number of transfer students to India would constitute a very small percentage of the total as most of their transfers were within the GEMS group.

Asian schools in Dubai were allotted a 10 per cent fee increase for the current academic year by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, which schools said would be availed of to enhance the quality of education. Some schools in Sharjah have hiked their fees by 20 per cent. Education at Indian schools in the UAE can cost between Dh4,000 and Dh20,000. Schools have also increased their transport fees by 100 per cent resulting in a strain on budgets.

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