Education is free for UAE citizens at government institutes up to the university level. Non-UAE nationals may attend government schools as fee-paying students.
The educational councils and zones in each emirate regulate fees in private schools, which will differ depending on school type, curriculum and facilities, and school ranking.
In Abu Dhabi, requests for fee increase from private school are submitted every January to the Private Schools and Quality Assurance Sector (PSQA) at the Department of Education and Knowledge. The conditions for determining the annual increase includes the evaluation agenda, improving facilities and infrastructure, investing in human resources amongst others. The admission of students of determination and provision of support needed for them is also taken into account while determining the fees. PSQA stressed that the fee increase applications must be linked to school improvement plan.
In Dubai, all private schools can increase their fees based on their individual school grade and the Education Cost Index (ECI), which is set at 3.21 per cent for 2016. According to the KHDA's fee framework, schools rated 'outstanding' will be allowed to increase fees by 6.42 per cent, which is double the ECI.
'Very good' schools will be eligible for 5.61 per cent, which is 1.75 times the ECI; 'Good' schools will be allowed 4.81 per cent, which is 1.5 times the ECI. The 'acceptable', 'weak' and 'very weak' will be allowed to increase by 3.21 per cent.
In July 2016, Ministry of Education made a new resolution in which it prohibits UAE nationals from registering and funding private schools with 'very weak' ranking. This resolution will be implemented from the academic year 2016-2017.
Updated on 26 Aug 2018