Top educational institutions get the nod from the government to hike their fees by almost 5 per cent.

The cost of sending your child to school in Dubai can be high – and it could be about to get higher.

Up to 4.8 per cent higher, in fact.

Private schools have been given the green light by the emirate’s educational regulator to increase their tuition fees between 2.4 and 4.8 per cent for the next academic year.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said the prices for 2017-2018 can be hiked depending on the school’s inspection rating.

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The annual Education Cost Index (ECI), calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC), sets the fee raise at 2.4 per cent, which takes into account costs such as teacher salaries, rent, and building utilities.

Schools assessed as outstanding in their KHDA inspection can raise fees by double the ECI rate (4.8 per cent), and schools rated very good can hike their prices by 1.75 times the ECI (4.2 per cent).

‘Good’ schools can increase the ECI by 1.5 times, to 3.6 per cent.

So, say for example you have an ‘outstanding’ school which currently charges Dhs100,000 a year, parents are looking at an extra Dhs4,800 added to their fees.

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However not too many schools look set to be able to charge the largest increase – only 16 private schools scored an outstanding rating in 2016, out of 173 private schools in the emirate.

That includes Gems Modern Academy, Dubai College and The Indian High School, while 13 schools were declared very good.

Brand-new schools are prevented from raising their fees for the first three years – and even longstanding institutions aren’t obliged to hike their rates, even though they can.

“After listening closely to our parents and being aware of the increasing financial pressures many families are facing we made two announcements in November 2016, for the academic year 2017-18,”  Clive Pierrepont, director of communications at education provider Taaleem, told Gulf Business.

“These were firstly, not to implement a fee increase irrespective of this year’s announcement of ECI, and secondly to offer new sibling discounts and improved payment terms for our families.”

However the increase in fees will aid other Dubai schools, “especially those with historically low fees to close their funding gap”, he said.

“This announcement will help those schools that have long served the community, to balance their books.”

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Image: Getty