Phnom Penh has the cheapest international school fees in Asia

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A new report from the International Schools Database suggests Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh offers the cheapest international school fees in Asia.

International Schools Cambodia
Phnom Penh ranks as offering the most affordable international schooling

The new report has a number of interesting revelations about the cost of international schooling in Asia and globally.

Cost of International Schooling in Asia

The report analysed price data from 22 cities in 13 Asian countries for international schools. In the Asian region, international schools in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam came out as the most expensive.

Phnom Penh in Cambodia is the most affordable of the 22 cities that were reviewed, ahead of schools in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

China International Schools

In China, depending on the city, prices range from over USD $40k per year for international schools at the top end of the scale to just over $5k per year for international schools at the bottom end in Shanghai.

Phnom Penh International Schools

In Phnom Penh, the median international school fees per annum are around USD $5,000 while the maximum can reach close to USD $20,000. International schooling can be obtained for as little as USD $1,895.

Phnom Penh international schooling was found to be 22nd of 22 cities in Asia and 71st out of 73 cities on a global scale.

Notably, on a global playing field, Asia was the most expensive region for international education with median prices reaching $20k per year or above in 6 different cities.

  • Asia is the most expensive region for international education in the world.
  • China has some of the highest international school prices in the world.
  • Phnom Penh has the cheapest international school fees in Asia.
  • Despite the lower cost of living, Hanoi and HCMC have some of the highest international school prices in Asia.
nternational Schools Database Asia
International Schools Database suggests Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh offers the cheapest international school fees in Asia.

Global international Schooling

The report found that the 3 most expensive countries in the world for international education are the USA, China and Switzerland.

Asia is the most expensive region for international education – 5 of the 10 cities with the most expensive international school fees in the world are located on the continent.

This is based on worldwide price data from 73 cities in 50 countries.

What is the International Schooling Database?

The International Schools Database (ISD) helps local and expatriate parents choose the perfect international school for their children. The database allows parents to find, research and compare international schools in cities across five continents.

For the data collection from the international schools, ISD said “To calculate the prices of international schools, we used the whole price of a full-term for one 6-year old child, excluding one-off costs such as enrollment fees, application fees, etc and not including free schools. Only those cities with 7 or more international schools, and with prices publicly available representing at least 25% of the schools in the city, were used in this article.”

English Language Proficiency in Cambodia

The English proficiency index shows Cambodia’s language skills progressing too. The Kingdom was ranked 84th out of 100 countries in the world in English proficiency according to the recent EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) 2020. In 2019, Cambodia was ranked 94th.

Fluent English speakers in Cambodia are mostly found in the major cities and urban areas of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Among 24 countries listed in Asia, Cambodia ranks 18th. Singapore is in the tenth spot among 100 countries globally, and first in Asia.

Cambodia's English proficiency
Cambodia ranked 84th out of 100 countries in the world in English proficiency Index 2020.

Education in Cambodia 2020

During COVID-19 in 2020, Distance Learning and E-Learning programmes to students were implemented. Often the 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.

Schools endured two sets of lockdowns in parts of Cambodia in 2020 due to COVID-19 but as of November 23rd, all schools have been open again.

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.

Read more about the education sector in Cambodia in our guide.

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