Cost to send child to international school in Singapore tops S$500,000: Report

by Channel NewsAsia Published 19 Nov 2015, posted on Jan 10, 2016

SINGAPORE: Expats sending their children to international schools in Singapore and Hong Kong can expect to pay more than S$500,000 in school fees over the course of their child's education, according to a report.

The report, "International school tuition fees in Singapore and beyond" by London based analyst the Centre for Economics and Business Research looked at international school fees in the UK and at popular destinations for British expats in Asia, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. 

In a press release issued on Thursday (Nov 19), the report showed that the fees in Singapore are the second most expensive after the UK, and the cost has risen 23.2 per cent over the past five years in both countries.

For instance, a student in Singapore can expect to pay S$589,000 in total tuition fees if they start in 2015, S$110,800 more than a student who started five years ago. 

Among the five popular destinations in Asia, annual tuition fees in Malaysia were the lowest, at about S$23,200. In contrast, the average annual fees for Singapore and Hong Kong were S$30,900 and S$29,000 respectively.


Despite the higher costs, Singapore was placed second on the affordability scale, as average wages are higher in the Republic than in other Asian markets. Hong Kong was ranked as the most affordable, and Indonesia the least.

Ms Nina Skero, an economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research said: "The increase in fees is partially explained by high levels of spending on educational facilities and pursuit of academic excellence. International schools in Singapore have some of the world’s most modern facilities and consistently achieve outstanding academic results."

"In the five years to 2020 we expect fees to continue to go up in Singapore and elsewhere and expats need to prepare for this.” 

The report was commissioned by financial advisory firm The Fry Group (Singapore).