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Affordability of international schools for expats survey

May 02, 2017
Relocation resource website has published the results of its annual worldwide survey of international school fees.

The study examines the increasing financial burden of premium education for children of expat parents and calls for companies to re-evaluate their global mobility programmes to better support relocating families.

The market survey involved 707 international schools across 98 countries. The annual survey also captures sentiments around international school fees to not only highlight challenges for expats, but also opportunities for companies to remain attractive to foreign talent.

“According to our survey findings, international school fees are steadily rising, particularly in markets that are popular destinations with expats,” said Sébastien Deschamps, CEO and Founder of “It is not surprising therefore to see expat parents rethinking their entire approach to their children’s education. For example, we see more and more parents considering options such as home schooling or enrolling their children in local schools that offer internationally recognised curriculum.”

Based on 6th grade tuition fees per country, China (US$36,400 per annum), Switzerland (US$28,300 per annum) and Belgium (US$27,800 per annum) come out tops as the most expensive countries for international education. Following closely behind with fees above US$20,000 per annum were the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria and Australia.

Stephen Park, Head of Global Mobility at Fonterra said, “Some cities, such as Hong Kong, are particularly challenging for our mobility programmes. At times, it is competitive to get children into good schools and I imagine some employees may turn down assignments in Hong Kong for the sake of their children's future. It just shows how important education assistance has become inside mobility programmes.”


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