Malaysia has been ranked the eight most expensive country for international education, said the ExpatFinder International School Fee Survey 2016.
Designed to help expats navigate cost challenges relating to relocation, the annual index based its ranking on the median of the sixth-grade tuition fees per country and a survey of 707 international schools across 98 countries.
In pole position is China (US$36,400 per annum), followed by Switzerland (US$28,300 per annum) and Belgium (US$27,800 per annum).
Following closely behind with fees above US$20,000 per annum, these countries make the rest of the top 10 out of 98 countries (in descending order): United Kingdom, Hong Kong, United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria and Australia.
According to ExpatFinder, the exorbitant fees for premium education have been rising, particularly in countries teeming with expatriates. In 2016, international school tuition fees have increased by 3.43% from 2015.
“It is not surprising, therefore, to see expat parents rethinking their entire approach to their children’s education.
“For example, we see more and more parents considering options such as home schooling or enrolling their children in local schools that offer internationally recognised curriculum.
“Some have also opted for private tutors that provide supplementary native language lessons in lieu of costly international education,” said Sebastien Deschamps, founder of ExpatFinder.com.
Helene Denaiffe, a French expat residing in Singapore, said her family had to make lifestyle adjustments just so her children could study at an international school.
“We shifted both our children to an international school so they can learn French, our mother tongue. However, the high cost of education has in turn changed the way we budget for our lifestyle.
“We now limit ourselves on spending much more than we did in our home country. Paying for education and extracurricular activities now takes up the largest part of our monthly budget,” she said.