Total Cost Of Sending Child To International School In Singapore Tops SGD$500,000

Expats sending their children to international school in Singapore and Hong Kong can expect to pay over $500,000 in school fees over the course of their child’s education according to new research commissioned by financial advisory firm, The Fry Group (Singapore).

The 2015 report, “International school tuition fees in Singapore and beyond”, by London based analyst the Centre for Economics and Business Research examined international school fees across popular destinations for British expatriates in Asia – Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as well as the UK.

Despite the higher cost of international school fees in Singapore, the cost of private education has risen 23.2% over the past five years across UK and Singapore. A child who starts at international school in Singapore today can expect to pay $110,800 more than a child who started just five years ago across the course of their schooling. The cost of annual tuition fees at private schools in the UK is 30% higher than in Singapore.

Among the five popular expat destinations in Asia, Malaysia offered the lowest annual tuition fees, approximately 33% lower than Singapore, averaging $23,200. In contrast average annual fees in Singapore were $30,900 and $29,000 per annum in Hong Kong.

An international education in Singapore scored better on affordability as average wages are higher in Singapore than in some other Asian markets. On an affordability basis the cost of an international education was significantly higher in Indonesia on a comparative basis.

David Pugh, Director, South-East Asia, The Fry Group said: “South-East Asia boasts some of the best international schools in the world. However school fees are becoming a bigger issue for expats particularly as traditional expat packages are being replaced with local contracts. At a cost of over $500,000 in tuition fees for each child, even before they reach university, it is vital for expats to plan how they are going to pay for their children’s education. This is particularly the case for families with young children just starting their education. Expats should consider their finances, and the cost of their child’s education, in the round and save appropriately. Employers also need to be mindful of the financial pressure that relocating and moving children to international schools can place on expats.”

Nina Skero an Economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, stated: “International school fees have risen in Asia, and the UK, over the last five years. The increase in fees is partially explained by high levels of spending on educational facilities and pursuit of academic excellence. International schools in Singapore have some of the world’s most modern facilities and consistently achieve outstanding academic results. In the five years to 2020 we expect fees to continue to go up in Singapore and elsewhere and expats need to prepare for this.”

A number of international schools offer a boarding option which allows students to live on campus during the school year. Boarding is an important consideration for expat families who may be relocated at some point in the future, but who do not want to see their children’s education interrupted.


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