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Monday, 15 August 2022

New year, new fees

A rundown of tuition fees at Egypt’s major private + international K-12 schools in the upcoming academic year: The 2022-2023 academic year is kicking off soon — students at Cairo American College (CAC) will be back in class this coming Wednesday, while BISC and NCBIS go back on 28 August, AIS follows on 1 September, and Alsson on 4 September. Today, we run down the tuition fees being charged at international and private schools.

(Editor’s note: Most of these schools detail their fees in foreign currency. For the purposes of this story, we are detailing the EGP-equivalent of these fees based on yesterday’s official exchange rate. Businesses domiciled in Egypt cannot pay other businesses domiciled here in hard currency — so it boggles the mind why schools are permitted to post (and in many cases collect) tuition fees in foreign currencies. And no, we’re no more sympathetic to the notion that they have hard-currency expenses any more than we are that a manufacturer, importer or other business has an FX component to their cost base.)

Remember: Schools are currently only allowed to raise their tuition fees 7% each academic year — a cap the Education Ministry introduced in 2017 and began imposing as of the 2019-2020 academic year for all schools under its jurisdiction. Private schools regulated by the ministry (a group that excludes many schools owned by parent associations, such as MBIS, and other external bodies) have been lobbying the ministry to revise the cap in light of rising inflation that are pushing up schools’ CAPEX costs far beyond the 7% threshold, as we noted previously. Last we heard, former Education Minister Tarek Shawki said the ministry was meeting with schools to review the cap and try to find a middle ground that would make it feasible to allow private and international schools to continue operating at the same quality in light of rising costs, while also accounting for the cost burden on parents.

On the uppermost end of the spectrum is CAC, whose annual tuition fees start at EGP 296k for pre-K4 students, according to the school’s payment plan for returning students (pdf). Students in kindergarten pay EGP 534k for one year’s tuition, in addition to a one-time registration fee equivalent to USD 14k. That fee is paid only by new students (regardless of grade level) in their first year at CAC. Returning students at all grade levels do not pay that fee. Grades 1-5 cost EGP 534k per year, grades 6 through 8 are charged EGP 544k per year, and annual tuition fees for high school students (grades 9-12) are EGP 548k. The payment varies slightly depending on the number of installments the parent chooses. The school is managed by a board that includes representatives from the US embassy and other stakeholders and its tuition fees are not regulated by the Egyptian Ministry of Education. It offers its students American education and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB Diploma) for grades 11 and 12.

Next on the list is the British International School in Cairo (BISC), which charges tuition fees starting at EGP 221k for foundation stage 1 (KG1) kids — not including admission, supply, and registration fees. Foundation stage 2 through to year 6 tuition is EGP 260k, while years 7, 8, and 9 cost EGP 301k per year. Years 10 and 11 cost EGP 306k per year and years 12 and 13 cost EGP 324k per year, according to the fees shared for the academic year 2021-2022. The school takes payment in EUR, so the payment varies according to the exchange rate. BISC teaches the British curriculum until year 9, after which students study IGCSE and GCSE courses. Students in their final two years of schooling (12 and 13) follow the IB program. BISC is an association-owned school and not subject to the Education Ministry’s tuition cap.

The American International School in Egypt (AIS) also sits on the relative upper end of the tuition fee spectrum. AIS’ tuition fees range from an estimated EGP 169k for its youngest students to EGP 211k for high school, according to the payment plan for the 2022-2023 academic year (pdf). The school has yet to announce its exact tuition fees for the full academic year, so these are approximations. The school has two branches in Cairo, one located in New Cairo and the other in Sheikh Zayed. The school provides its students with an American education until grade 11, when students can choose to continue on the American Diploma program or enter the IB program.

Within the same range sits El Alsson, with tuition fees (pdf) starting at EGP 131.4k for preschoolers and going up to EGP 220.5k for its graduating class in the British division and EGP 220.3k for those in the American division. El Alsson offers students the choice between the British and the American curricula.

CIRA’s British Columbia Canadian International School (BCCIS) charges an annual EGP 119k for KG1 students and EGP 192k for high school students. BCCIS follows the British Columbia Canada curriculum (BC Curriculum) and offers its seniors Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

The German Saxony International School’s (SIS) tuition fees range from EGP 115k for its nursery services through to EGP 205k for its graduating students. The school is the Egyptian branch of the Saxony International School – Carl Hahn gGmbH in Germany. SIS also offers its students the IB Diploma program.

Also worth noting:

CLARIFICATION- This story was amended on 15 August 2022 to reflect the following changes: We have re-stated the tuition fees for Cairo American College (CAC) to remove the impact of a one-time USD 14,000 registration fee. This registration fee is charged to new students the first time they enroll at CAC regardless of grade level. Returning students do not pay that fee in subsequent years.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • Reda Hegazi has replaced Tarek Shawki as Education Minister in a wider shuffle that saw 13 fresh faces enter the Madbouly cabinet.
  • US universities are mulling new inclusive admissions strategies as two lawsuits threaten to restrict their ability to take race into account in the admissions process.

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