The benefits of a private school education in Asia are numerous but the cost is high. We take a look at just-released research from the International Schools Database to give a roundup of costs across the continent in 2021and suggest how you can plan for this major financial hit.
The cost of international schools in Asia in 2021
The International Schools Database research that pinged into our inbox last month makes painful reading for expatriates and locals in Asia looking to give their children the benefits of a private school education.
Parents in China will endure the most agony! The top four most expensive cities across the continent last year were all in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Beijing’s median price is eye-watering at almost $40,000 for the year.
In comparison, parents in Phnom Penh will be thanking their lucky stars that they will ‘only’ have to fork out around $5,000 per year. And Kuala Lumpur based families will also be happy to discover that international schools in the city are the second cheapest in Asia.
Here’s a summary table of the average cost of international schools in some of Asia’s major cities in 2021:
|Median cost in $US (2021)|
|10||Ho Chi Minh City||16,697|
Is it worth sending my child to an international school in Asia?
With the cost of an education in an international school in Asia so high, you may question the wisdom of this expensive decision. Any sane human would! Research does show however, that the cost will most likely be worth it for your children both in terms of their academic experience and the opportunities it affords them in later life.
A private education generally means a wider choice of academic subjects, highly qualified teachers with a passion for their subject, incredible resources, smaller class sizes, exceptional extra-curricular activities which provide learning experiences and a supportive environment which nurtures individuality and allows children to thrive.
Research also shows that student outcomes later in life are better for those who have attended private school. A 2018 study by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in the US and Gallup revealed that a higher percentage of private school students enrolled in college immediately after high school (85% against 69% for state-funded schools) and more than 50% attend the most selective colleges and universities.
In addition, independent school students were more likely to seek out key experiential learning and extracurricular activities in college, which translate to higher rates of wellbeing and workplace engagement later in life
Finally, from a financial perspective, private schools are an investment that pays off with independent school students on average earning higher starting salaries.
Your motivation for sending your child to an independent school in Asia is probably influenced by a desire to improve their emotional wellbeing, now and in the future, as well as their educational opportunities and earning potential. Research suggests that the likelihood of these goals being achieved is higher for kids who are privately educated.
For the majority of parents who have come out the other side, a private education has definitely proved to be a good investment.
School fee plans for international schooling in Asia
Which means action needs to be taken to ensure that this significant expense can be covered. Long term planning and investment which starts as early as possible – preferably before a child is even born – will lighten the load.
Education fee planning goals should be worked into your financial plan if you have already started on the parenting road, but also if you intend to have a family in the future. The longer you have to save and benefit from compound interest, the better. Set some savings and investment goals and ask your financial adviser about the best way to invest taking into consideration your timeframe.
Many of our financial advisers in Asia are parents and will have the same concerns as you about their children’s education and how to finance it. If you’d like to talk about your financial priorities as a parent and put together a strategy that puts your children front and centre, why not get in touch?
Whether it’s education fee planning, healthcare or life insurance, we have solutions to give your children the best possible start in life.
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