New year – New headaches. Rising cost of school fees

06 Jan 2020

The rising costs of international schools around the world are absolutely astounding. 

Expatriates are finding it more and more difficult to keep up with rising school fees. Their salaries just can’t keep up with the school fee increases.

  • The UK alone has seen an increase of about £1000 more than last year for international schooling, which now sits at around £27 000 a year. That’s higher than inflation. This makes the UK the 8th most expensive country in the world for international schooling. This compares to its neighbour Ireland with tuition costs of around £9 000 a year.
  • China is the most expensive for international schooling sitting at around £ 33 000 a year.
  • The largest increases were seen in Asia where international school fees in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia rose by almost £3 000.
  • In the Middle East, Israel has become the most expensive at around £26 000 a year ahead of the UAE at £17 500 a year. 
  • Nigeria is the most expensive in Africa at around £25 000 a year.


Global school fees for international schools are rising faster than inflation and salary increases. This is because of the global demand for English language tuition, and the strengthening of local currency.

How do parents keep up with the rising costs of school fees?

Start contributing towards an education savings plan for your child. The earlier the better, so by the time they reach high school and university, your pocket won’t feel the huge shock of school fees.

Tips to help save for school fees on an already strained budget.

•    Cut down on excessive spending on luxuries and convenience – you’ll be surprised at how much you spend on unnecessary goods and services.
•    Cut down on eating out and those morning coffee runs – don’t deprive yourself but do keep an eye on it as it all adds up.
•    Consider moving to a cheaper apartment slightly further out of the city centre - the savings could be used for an education fund without you having to lower your standard of living.
•    Set up a direct payment from your bank account on pay day – that way the savings are taken off before you start spending.
•    When you get an annual increase, use part of it for the education savings plan – that way it won’t eat into your disposable income.

Chat to your deVere Acuma adviser about starting an education savings plan for your children or mail [email protected] to find your nearest deVere Acuma office.

Please note, the above is for education purposes only and does not constitute advice. You should always contact your deVere Acuma adviser for a personal consultation.

* No liability can be accepted for any actions taken or refrained from being taken, as a result of reading the above.