KHDA gives nod to 86 Dubai schools to increase fees

Fee increase has been limited between 1.74 per cent and 3.48 per cent, in line with this year’s Education Cost Index (ECI).


Muaz Shabandri

Published: Tue 10 Jun 2014, 12:54 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:49 PM

Private schools in Dubai are set to increase fees once again, with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) giving a nod to hike tuition fees at 86 private schools.

Mohammed Ahmed Darwish, Chief of Regulations and Permits Commission at the KHDA, confirmed the fee increase, saying the authority had received applications from 111 private schools and 27 embassy/non-profit schools.

Eligible Profit Schools: 111

a. Exception under review: 3

b. Exception approved this year: 1 (9%-9%-9%)

c. No Increase: 2

d. Exception- Previous approval: 13

e. Normal Eligibility approved: 86

Non Profit/Embassy: 27

a. Embassy Schools approved: 4

b. Non Profit No Increase: 2

c. Non Profit approved: 17

Fee increase has been limited between 1.74 per cent and 3.48 per cent, in line with this year’s Education Cost Index (ECI) — a consumer price index that determines the cost of running schools. For outstanding schools, the fee increase will be 3.48 per cent, good schools will get a 2.61 per cent increase and schools rated acceptable and unsatisfactory will be allowed a 1.74 per cent increase.

Darwish added that the cost index is being used for the third consecutive year and it is directly linked with the school inspection framework. “The Education Cost Index is aimed at improving the quality of education and maintaining a balance between the interest of students, parents and schools,” he added.

The KHDA allowed an exceptional increase of nine per cent for one school, while applications from three other schools for an ‘exceptional’ increase are under review. Private schools in Dubai have repeatedly called on the KHDA to allow larger increases and blamed the ECI for not taking into account the ‘real cost’ of running schools.

However, the KHDA has regularly communicated with school investor groups to explain the mechanism, which has been designed to help moderate fees, stop unjustified increases, allow competitive profit rate in the education sector and motivate schools to improve the quality of education.

Based on data obtained from 84 per cent of Dubai’s private schools, the latest figures show that salaries make up 60 per cent of total operating expenses and the remaining 40 per cent comprises rent, maintenance, electricity and water.

Last year, private schools in Dubai were not allowed to increase fees.

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