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The cost of international schools in Africa in 2019 revealed

Key points:

  • 4 of the 10 cheapest cities for international education in the world are African.
  • Nairobi is the most expensive city in Africa for international schools.
  • Cape Town in South Africa the cheapest.

At the International Schools Database, we help local and expat parents choose the perfect international school for their children. Our database allows parents to find, research and compare international schools in cities across four continents. Naturally, this means that we gather and analyse a huge amount of information about international schools all over the world.

Our latest research project uses this data to evaluate the prices of international schools across the globe. In this article, we share and analyze the prices of international schools in Africa.

Below, we have analysed price data from 6 cities in 5 African countries, in graph and table forms. While we have used all price data available to us, there may be additional schools and prices not included in each city, because they do not make their price data available or it is unknown to us. Links to additional research focusing in each of the other regions individually and globally can be found at the bottom of this article, and the updated research for 2020 can be found here.

Prices of International Schools in Africa, Per Year

The graph below is known as a box plot graph. It shows a comprehensive view of the range of prices in each city, instead of just an average, as a single average price may not necessarily represent the full picture of prices in each destination. Since there is a lot to unpack in this graph, we have also provided a little explanation on how to read the graph easily at the end of the article.

How to read this graph

Highlights and takeaways from the research findings

Because of their very wide range of prices, Addis Ababa and Johannesburg have both some of the cheapest and also some of the most expensive prices in Africa. Their minimum of around $1,000 per year is beaten only by Kampala which is nearly 50% cheaper at $523 per year. Their maximum prices of around $24,000 makes them very expensive, but not as much as Nairobi, which has a maximum price of $28,479 per year. This isn’t entirely surprising, since there is a high demand for international education in Kenya.

Cape Town offers the cheapest median prices for international schools in Africa, with a range of between $3,690 and $4,567 per year for their mid-range international schools.

At the opposite end of the African continent, Cairo rivals Nairobi for most expensive prices. With its maximum price just under the $25,000 mark, it’s the 2nd highest of the 6 African cities in our study.

You can find a breakdown of exact prices for each African city in the table below. But if Africa isn’t enough, we have also compiled price data for other regions and cities around the world; you can find links to this additional research at the bottom of this article. If you require any further information or have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us at andrea@international-schools-database.com.

Prices of International Schools Per Year

Rank City Minimum Q1 Median Q3 Maximum
1 Nairobi $2,687 $5,315 $7,222 $13,070 $28,479
2 Cairo $3,433 $4,470 $5,970 $7,834 $24,850
3 Johannesburg $1,085 $3,986 $5,178 $6,600 $24,342
4 Kampala $523 $2,165 $4,875 $7,154 $19,400
5 Addis Ababa $1,046 $2,663 $4,800 $13,668 $24,690
6 Cape Town $2,181 $3,690 $4,128 $4,567 $8,117

source: www.international-schools-database.com

How to read the graph

The purple box shows the middle portion of the data, known in statistical lingo as the Interquartile Range. This is the ‘ballpark’ range that you would usually expect to pay in that particular city. The horizontal lines at each end of the box represent the First Quartile (Q1) and Third Quartile (Q3). These are the prices that would be considered somewhat cheaper (for Q1) or more expensive (for Q3) than the norm.

The median is shown as a vertical bar in the centre of the box. This is the price of the school in the exact middle of the range, i.e. the half-way point. Finally, you’ll see dots next to some of the box plots. These are ‘outliers’, prices that sit outside of all of the above ranges.

⇧ Go back to the graph ⇧

Additional 2019 research for other regions:

Latest updated research for 2022: