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New research reveals the cost of international education in Africa in 2022

Key points:

  • Nairobi is the most expensive city in Africa for international schooling; however it also has the biggest spread of international school costs in the continent.
  • Cape Town is the least expensive city in Africa.
  • Africa continues to offer the lowest costs for international schools compared to other regions. Of the 76 cities included in our analysis, African cities all ranked among the 20 least expensive.

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.

Starting in 2019, we began using 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 updated to 2022.

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 as of Dec 31st 2022, 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 here can be found the results of the previous year 2021.

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

The cost of international schools in Nairobi is largely unchanged since 2021, with only a slight increase to the median price. This means the city is once again the most expensive destination in Africa for international education. It also offers the biggest spread of prices, from a minimum of $935 per year to a maximum of almost $31,000 per year. So whatever your budget may be, there is likely to be a school in Nairobi that will meet it.

Cape Town remains the least expensive city in Africa when it comes to international school costs. However, it is no longer the least expensive city globally, moving up one place to become the second least expensive destination in the world. In contrast to Nairobi, Cape Town has the smallest spread of prices from a minimum of $2,203 to a maximum of $5,634.

Africa continues to offer the lowest costs for international schooling compared to other regions around the world. Cape Town may have lost its title of least expensive city in the world, but all 6 African cities included in our analysis this year are within the 20 least expensive. Of the 76 cities in total, Nairobi ranks in 57th position, Addis Ababa 64th, Johannesburg and Kampala 69th and 70th respectively, and Casablanca and Cape Town in 74th and 75th.

Two African cities, Kampala and Johannesburg, are in close competition with each other for the second year in a row. Johannesburg has overtaken Kampala as the third most expensive city in Africa for international school costs, while Kampala now sits below it in fourth place. However, there is very little difference in the median price for both cities.

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 $935 $5,258 $7,310 $13,523 $30,934
2 Addis Ababa $2,100 $4,560 $6,500 $12,544 $28,009
3 Johannesburg $1,101 $4,233 $5,456 $6,628 $23,684
4 Kampala $1,035 $2,560 $5,265 $7,468 $21,100
5 Casablanca $1,570 $3,635 $4,067 $10,911 $11,734
6 Cape Town $2,203 $3,473 $4,051 $4,417 $5,634

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: