International schools collect $6bn in fees in Gulf

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International schools operating in the Gulf are raking in a total of $6 billion in fees, according to a new report.

The expansion of international schools in the region registered the second fastest growth rate in the world and now has 982 international schools with a million students, reported Saudi Gazette on Tuesday.

The report cited research conducted by the International School Consultancy Group (ISC), a market intelligence provider on the global international schools market.

The data showed that the UAE ranked first as the country with the highest number of international schools, dominating the region with 439, up from 433 in the first quarter of this year.

Saudi Arabia has 195 international schools and Qatar 130, although this is set to increase as the country’s Supreme Education Council (SEC) has just approved 26 new private schools, the report said.

It added that Kuwait now hosts 80 international schools, teaching close to 90,000 students while Oman has 58 international schools, with a population of nearly 60,000 students.

According to the report, the fastest growing international school market is Asia. The ISC added that East Asia, the Gulf and South America will drive new demand in future, as appetite increases for access to world-class quality education.

The full report will be presented at IPSEF, the only international business conference for private and international schools, which is due to take place on September 23-25 in Dubai.

In June, Dubai’s education authority approved annual fee hikes for 118 private schools.

A further eight still being considered also could be granted the increase, while only 28 schools will not raise fees, either because they did not apply or they are not eligible.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said the value of the increases was determined by a combination of the education cost index issued by Dubai Statistics Centre in January and school inspection resul

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