Phnom Penh again has the cheapest Asian international school fees


The results from the International Schools Database research shows that Phnom Penh again has the cheapest Asian international school fees in 2021.

The International Schools Database compares the cost of international schools both across the whole world and in Asia. In 2020, the research also indicated the Cambodian capital had the most affordable prices of international schools in the Asian region.

The annual research and reporting started in 2019, and in 2021, the price data from 23 cities in 13 Asian countries was analysed.

Most Affordable Asian international school fees 2021

The research showed that for the third year in a row, China is by far the most expensive country in Asia for international education. Beijing’s median price is close to UD $40,000 per year, while the cheapest city’s median price is in Phnom Penh at around $5,000.

“The four most expensive countries for international education – USA, China, Switzerland and UK – are all known for having some of the best international schools in the world.

However, they are also known for high costs of living, particularly in the cities that feature in our top 10 rankings. These include New York, San Francisco, London, Zurich, Beijing and Shanghai. London is the only UK city to feature in our research and is ranked within the top 10 for the first time” said the International Schools Database.

In fact, Phnom Penh is cheaper than the average city in the world for international schools and ranked the 3rd cheapest out of 72 cities.

International Schools Database Research Asia 2021
Image Credit: International Schools Database Research Asia 2021

The top four most expensive cities in Asia for international schooling are to be found in China:

  1. Beijing
  2. Shanghai
  3. Shenzhen
  4. Guangzhou

There is a broad spread of prices throughout the rest of the continent for international school fees in 2021 with median prices under $20,000 per year for the majority of cities.

Many cities have international school fees with median prices of around $10,000 per year.

Some of the key points from the research  for the Asian region show:

  • Asia dominates as the most expensive region for international education. Of the 23 Asian cities included in the research, 16 feature in the top half of price rankings with 4 featuring in the top 10.
  • Manila, Johor Bahru and Phuket all have median prices for international education of around $8,000 – $9,000 per year.
  • Prices in Yangon, Bangkok, and Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe for international education all sit at around $12,000 per year.
  • In Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, median costs for international education are all around $17,000 per year.

Links to additional research focusing on each of the other regions individually and globally can be found here.

Education in Cambodia During COVID

During COVID-19 from 2020-2021, Distance Learning and E-Learning programmes to students were implemented nationwide all schools have seen periods of enforced closure. By Q4 2021, most restrictions have been lifted in the Kingdom due to the strong vaccination rates among the population.

Cambodian schools are closed during COVID-19

Cambodian government initiatives were supported by Cambodian businesses and corporations assisting with funding to allow disadvantaged youths to have access to education. This includes the introduction of apps that students could access (sometimes for free as with this example from Cellcard).

The Cambodian government also signed an MOU with MKI Media AS Norway for the firm to produce educational entertainment (“Edutainment”) for the Cambodian market from 2021-2023.

According to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MOEYS), between the academic year 2018 to 2019, 218,357 students were enrolled in 1,222 private schools nationwide, ranging from preschool to grade 12.

There has also been a strong push by the Cambodian government to engage with commercial and private companies to push for better eCommerce and digital education to prepare the youth better for the future.

Read more about the education sector guide in Cambodia.


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