M’sia ranks 8th most expensive for int’l school studies

ExpatFinderPETALING JAYA: Malaysia was ranked eighth, just behind Singapore, in a global survey on the cost of education at international schools. However, at an average price of US$21,600 (RM96,000) per year, it is just US$100 cheaper than across the causeway.

The survey carried out by ExpatFinder.com also revealed that China is the most expensive country for expatriates who wish to have their children enrol in an international school, according to a report in Malay Mail Online (MMO).

The ExpatFinder International School Fee Survey 2016 was carried out across 98 countries, covering 707 international schools, and based on the median of sixth grade (equivalent to primary six) tuition fees in US dollar.

Studying in an international school in Malaysia, was also found to be more expensive than Australia, which ranked 10 with education in an international school costing an average of US$20,100 per year.

According to the survey, studying at an international school costs an average of US$36,400 in China, which is far ahead of second placed Switzerland (US$28,300 per annum) and Belgium (US$27,800 per annum) in third.

The rest of the countries that make up the top 10 most expensive places for education at an international school are: United Kingdom (4th, US$25,270), Hong Kong (5th, US$23,360), the United States (6th, US$22,640) and Austria (9th, US$20,900).

The survey also found that the average tuition fees at international schools has increased by about 3.43% this year compared with the year before.

“We still see a trend of expat families looking for growth opportunities offshore given challenges in the domestic environment.

“However, according to our survey findings, international school fees are steadily rising, particularly in markets that are popular destinations with expats,” ExpatFinder.com founder and CEO Sebastien Deschamps said in a statement.

He added that many expatriate parents were now considering other options on how to educate their children in a host country, including home-schooling, private tutors and local schools, with the relevant language medium of education, that also has an internationally-recognised curriculum.

The three mandatory cost factors taken into account for the ExpatFinder survey were admission, registration and application fees.

“Additional charges that were not included as part of the costs taken for the survey included uniforms, materials or books, transport, examinations, extracurricular activities, elective subjects and boarding,” the statement said.

According to the website School Malaysia, there are about 94 international schools in the country, covering education from elementary to pre-tertiary levels.