The cost of education in South Africa vs the world in 2018

While many South African parents lament the rising cost of sending their children to private schools, a new assessment by the International Schools Database shows that South Africa still offers some of the most affordable ‘international’ education facilities in the world.

The group pulls numbers from its extensive database of international schools and compares it to costs of living in their countries through Expatistan.com.

The top 10 most expensive cities from 2017 remain largely unchanged in 2018, the rankings showed.

Five of the 10 belong to Switzerland and China, with Shanghai and Beijing taking first and second place. They are followed by schools in Lausanne, Zurich, Toronto and Geneva in third, fourth, fifth and sixth place.

However, there were some surprising cities listed among the cheapest for educations, including Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi are still some of least expensive cities for international education.

“This year three of the richest economies in the Middle East join them; Qatar’s capital Doha, Bahrain’s capital Manama and Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh are the fifth, fourth and ninth cheapest cities, respectively,” International Schools said.

South Africa is represented by Cape Town in the report.

Overall, Cape Town ranked as having the second cheapest average cost of education per month at $375 (R4,700), below Copenhagen, Denmark ($373).

However, to better put the cost of education into context, International Schools looked at the average monthly cost of education expressed as a percent of the average rent.

By this measure, Cape Town has the sixth most affordable education in the world.

Here, the average cost of education is 23% of the average rent in Cape Town, compared to 153% in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The table below outlines the 10 cheapest and 10 most expensive cities and countries for education.

City Country Average monthly cost of education Average monthly rent Education as a % of rent
Hanoi Vietnam $1 251 $815 153%
Brussels Belgium $1 777 $1 335 133%
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam $1 262 $1 021 124%
Beijing China $2 519 $2 091 120%
Seoul South Korea $1 799 $1 512 119%
Shanghai China $2 744 $2 363 116%
Budapest Hungary $1 094 $964 114%
Jakarta Indonesia $1 196 $1 060 113%
Toronoto Canada $1 977 $1 841 107%
Prague Czech Republic $1 250 $1 228 102%
Riyadh Saudi Arabia $422 $1 008 42%
Dubai UAE $964 $2 314 42%
Paris France $1 070 $3 216 33%
Abu Dhabi UAE $732 $2 319 32%
Cape Town South Africa $375 $1 330 28%
Doha Qatar $831 $2 998 28%
Manama Bahrain $422 $1 545 27%
Amsterdam Netherlands $609 $2 445 25%
Hong Kong Hong Kong $1 282 $5 100 25%
Copenhagen Denmark $373 $2 435 15%

Read: South African private schools that are cheaper than public schools in 2018

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