Schools rated as outstanding in school inspections by Dubai’s education authority will be allowed to hike fees by 6 per cent this academic year, officials announced on Sunday.
The Dubai government has given green signal to private schools to increase their fees by a minimum of three per cent to a maximum of six per cent this academic year.
Schools rated as outstanding in the inspections will be allowed to hike fees by 6 per cent this academic year, while schools rated good will be allowed to do so by 4.5 per cent, and satisfactory and unsatisfactory schools will be allowed the lowest hike of 3 per cent.
During school inspections, institutions are graded into four performance categories — Outstanding, Good, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
The Executive Council endorsed the fees framework and set 3 per cent as the Educational Cost Index (ECI), which is the minimum fee hike allowed for all schools.
Schools wanting to make changes in their fee structure will now have to apply to KHDA, after which each application will be studied on a case by case basis and KHDA will approve or deny the change.
The fee hike is applicable to all tuition fees and other fees and costs for services provided by the school such as transportation, uniforms and school books.
School fees will henceforth be governed by the new School Fees Framework for Dubai's private schools, Dubai's education authority Knowledge and KHDA announced yesterday, making the framework public on their website.
The eligibility to increase fees will be based on the quality of education rendered by the school, as judged by the school inspections conducted by KHDA, in addition to an an Educational Cost Index (ECI) calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre.
Not all schools will be eligible for the hike, as certain criteria have to be met.
According to the framework, schools which increase their fees this year will not be allowed to seek fee hikes for next three academic years.
Also only schools which have been in operation for the past three years will be allowed to hike their fees this year.
Meanwhile, some schools may be granted special permission for fee hikes higher than 6 per cent.
Schools eligible for such considerations are not-for-profit and embassy schools and those investing in infrastructure that would lead to improvements in quality and directly benefit students academically. Special needs schools will also be given consideration.
Mohammad Darwish, chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission at KHDA said: "The framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long-term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer."
"The framework is evidence-based work and relies on data about the education landscape in Dubai. It is in line with KHDA's remit to support schools in providing quality education."
The framework also rules that schools may charge up to 10 per cent of tuition fees as a deposit during the re-registration of existing pupils.
For students newly admitted to a school, the schools may charge up to 30 per cent of tuition fees as an admission fee to secure a new place offered. Both these deposits are to be deducted from the students term fee.
The framework was developed in cooperation with Department of Economic Development, Department of Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, Dubai Statistics Centre, the Dubai Executive Council and KHDA.