Dubai Approves New School Fee Increase Scheme

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. framework / ˈfreɪmˌwɚk / (n) – a set of rules that serves as a basis for something

    The school is developing a framework for student learning.

  2. hike / haɪk / (v) – to suddenly increase the price of something

    The rise in operation costs forced the school to hike its tuition by 5%.

  3. eligible / ˈɛləʤəbəl / (adj) – meeting or completing the requirements or conditions to qualify for something

    I’m not eligible for a scholarship grant because I didn’t meet the grade requirements.

  4. underperform / ˌʌndɚpɚˈfoɚm / (v) – to do less than what is expected or required to be successful

    The school set up special summer classes for students who underperformed in certain subjects.

  5. burden / ˈbɚdn̩ / (n) – something that is difficult to handle

    Expensive school fees are a burden to students from low-income families.


Read the text below.

Dubai has approved a new framework that lets private schools hike tuition fees based on how well they improved.

According to the new framework developed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), only private schools that were able to maintain or improve their quality rating will be allowed to increase their fees. Eligible institutions will be authorized to increase fees from a minimum of 2.07% to a maximum of 4.14%, depending on their rating from the Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s evaluation.

One benefit of the new framework is that it can motivate schools that are underperforming to improve their quality rating. Under the new framework, schools with lower ratings will be allowed the highest tuition fee increase if they were able to improve. This means that a school that improved from “weak” to “acceptable” will be allowed a higher increase than a school that went from “good” to “very good.”

Another advantage, which will benefit parents and students, is the lower average fee increase compared to the previous framework. Previously, schools were allowed to increase their fees anywhere from 2.4% to 4.8%.

Before the new framework, Dubai schools were not allowed to increase their fees for two years. This restriction was lifted by the Crown Prince of Dubai upon the approval of the new framework. Some schools welcomed the increase as they plan to use the additional fees in developing school facilities and training teachers. A principal from one school also said that the increase will bring stability to their institution and let them enhance the quality of their education.

On the other hand, some schools decided to not increase their tuition fee next academic year to reduce financial burden on parents. One school principal said that schools should improve quality while being considerate about fair pricing.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that KHDA’s new framework will help schools that are underperforming improve their quality? Why or why not?
• Do you agree that schools should only be allowed to increase their tuition fee based on the improvement of their quality rating? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, should quality education be expensive? Why or why not?
• What are some characteristics of quality education (e.g. highly skilled teachers, good school facilities)? Discuss.