The cost of education in South Africa vs the world in 2020

The International Schools Database has published its latest findings on the price of schooling in major cities around the world, including Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The research pulls from an extensive database of international schools, covering 73 major cities where at least seven of these types of schools are found. International schools are often sought-after by expats or those looking for an international-level education.

To calculate the prices of international schools, the group used the whole price of a full term for one 6-year old child, excluding once-off costs such as enrolment fees, application fees, etc.

South African schools in Johannesburg and Cape Town rank as some of the cheapest international schooling opportunities in the world, with Johannesburg ranked as the sixth most affordable, and Cape Town as the most affordable of all 73 cities assessed.

“South Africa offers much greater value for money for international education than other African countries. The maximum price for an international school in Cape Town is $5,700 (R88,000 a year), in contrast to Addis Ababa’s $26,000 or Casablanca’s $13,000,” the group said.

Cape Town’s international school prices range from R32,000 to R88,000, with the median fees at R64,000. Johannesburg, meanwhile, has fees ranging between R17,000 and R440,000, with the median at R86,000.

Median international school fees in Africa span from $4,000 to $10,000, showing a relatively wide range throughout the continent. Kampala has the lowest minimum international school fees of any city in the database at just $613 per year.

South Africa vs the world

On a global level, just four countries are represented among the top 10 most expensive cities for international education – US, China, Switzerland and South Korea. All of the top 10 are cities with notoriously high costs of living, including New York City, San Francisco, Zurich and Shanghai.

African cities are far cheaper for international schooling. Casablanca, the most expensive African city for international school fees, ranks as the 45th most expensive out of 73 cities in the results. The remaining African cities have cheaper international school fees.

“This is a clear indicator that Africa is the most affordable region for international education by far,” the group said.

Europe has the widest range of international school fees iglobally. In the results of 73 cities, European cities appear among both the most expensive and the cheapest cities.

Asia’s domination as the most expensive region in the world for international school fees is mostly due to China, which is notoriously expensive. Most other Asian cities have an even spread of expensive, cheap and ‘middle of the road’ international school prices.

Despite having five cities within the top 10 most expensive, Asia also has some more affordable options too. Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for example, is the third cheapest city for international school fees in the database.


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The cost of education in South Africa vs the world in 2020