It surprises many people when they learn that the fees for Copenhagen International School are pretty much four times the amount payable for the other establishments in the capital, even though it’s often followed by the remark “But they’re the best”.
And were it not for its high fees, Copenhagen could very well be waking up today to celebrate having the cheapest international school fees in the world, as the median average is only 4,542 US dollars, with the cheapest school only costing 3,613 – which is way below most other cities.
In Switzerland, a country where the expenses are often compared to Denmark, the median is 25,630 in Zurich and 23,414 in Geneva, while China leads the way with 31,253 in Beijing and 30,046 in Shanghai.
Of the 56 cities included in the International Schools Database, Copenhagen was the second cheapest, trailing only Cape Town.
Thank you to the state
There is a very good reason why the international schools are so cheap in Denmark, as every private school (friskoler) gets a state subsidy of 76 percent.
This means a child benefiting from a 3,000 dollar-a-year education is effectively getting 12,000 dollars’ worth.
In countries where prestige is attached to whether you were privately educated or not – in the UK, for example, it pretty much determines whether someone is upper-middle class – it is great value for money.
According to the figures, the Middle East and Africa are generally the cheapest areas in the world for international education.