More than half of UAE schools not planning to offer additional discounts for new academic year: Poll

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on May 18, 2020 | Last updated on May 18, 2020 at 06.30 am
coronavirus, covid-19, uae, schools, online learning, distant learning, remote learning, education, tuition, students, parents, survey, Colliers,

(Alamy image)

Parents found the shift to online learning challenging, with 35 per cent of them indicating it to be "difficult" or "very difficult", the survey said.

Nearly 61 per cent of schools in the UAE are not planning to offer further discounts on tuition fees in the upcoming academic year (2020-21).

That's according to the latest findings published by Colliers in its report titled Covid-19: UAE K-12 Education Sector Market Sentiment Survey.

The survey, conducted with education operators and investors in the country, gives a perspective on online learning, the challenges they are facing, and their outlook for the academic year 2020-21.

Fifty-eight per cent of UAE schools have made full or partial refunds for all pre-paid fees (non-tuition) for the current term, it said. 

The findings also reveal that 38 per cent of the schools polled are adjusting the refunds against current and future terms' fees.

About a quarter - or 23 per cent - of the respondents have apparently not offered any discounts on tuition fees.

The remaining segment is offering other facilities to parents, like support-based installments, graded discounts, and the option of monthly payments.

Transition to e-learning

The study also highlighted that nearly all the teaching and support staff found the transition to online learning  "very easy" or were neutral about it.

None of them reportedly termed it as "difficult" or "very difficult".

Conversely, parents found the shift to online learning challenging, with 35 per cent of them indicating it to be "difficult" or "very difficult".

Most of the school operators are optimistic and expect the K-12 sector to remain resilient amid the pandemic and recover in the 2020-21 academic year.

Half of the respondents expect to retain current enrolment or enrol more pupils, the survey said.

Further analysis states that it is mostly the affordable and mid-market schools that are expecting to retain their existing enrolment levels or even get more students admitted. 

Additionally, a shift from luxury and premium to mid-tier schools is expected amid the challenging economic conditions.

The premium-category schools are also optimistic about retaining students, as some are planning to extend discounts and adjust the current Term 3 markdowns during the upcoming academic year.


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