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New research reveals the cost of international education in Africa in 2021

Key points:

  • Africa is once again the cheapest region in the world for international education.
  • Nairobi is this year the most expensive city in Africa for international schooling. Prices in the Kenyan capital range from just over $5,000 per year to just under $15,000.
  • Cape Town is the cheapest African city in our research for international education in 2021.

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 around the world. Naturally, this means that we gather and analyse a huge amount of information about international schools all over the world.

Starting in 2019, we began using this data to evaluate the prices of international schools across the globe. For 2021 we have expanded this research and in this article, we share and analyze the prices of international schools in Africa in 2021.

Below, we have analysed price data from 5 cities in 4 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.

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

Africa is still the cheapest region in the world for international education, but there has been some shifts in prices. The biggest change is in Casablanca, which has fallen from the most expensive African city last year to the second cheapest this year. This is not because of a dramatic change in overall prices, but instead a significant drop in the median price.

This means that Nairobi has now taken over as the most expensive city in Africa for international schooling. Prices in the Kenyan capital range from just over $5,000 per year to just under $15,000. However, a slightly wider range of prices can be found in Addis Ababa, with fees starting at under $5000 and tipping over $15,0000. The Ethiopian capital has a lower median price however, which is why it sits at second place.

Two South African cities - Cape Town and Johannesburg - offer some of the most affordable prices in Africa for international school fees. However there is quite a difference between the two cities - Cape Town’s maximum price barely edges past $5,000 per year, while the majority of Johannesburg’s fees are just over $5,000 at a minimum.

The final city included in our African research is Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Prices here remain largely unchanged since last year. However, thanks to Casablanca’s big shift in ranking, Kampala is now the third most expensive city in the region instead of the 4th most expensive.

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 $1,040 $5,289 $7,296 $13,944 $29,750
2 Addis Ababa $1,800 $4,325 $6,500 $15,930 $27,220
3 Kampala $1,558 $2,925 $6,000 $7,400 $20,100
4 Johannesburg $1,163 $5,186 $5,907 $7,045 $26,945
5 Casablanca $1,805 $3,992 $4,735 $12,257 $13,489
6 Cape Town $2,322 $3,881 $4,301 $4,562 $6,122

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 research for other regions: