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Kailash Nagdev
Kailash Nagdev: UAE parents place more value on the academic record of a school than the fees or location, according to the YouGov Education Investment study.


Results of YouGov Education Investment Study to be revealed at Education Investment MENA Conference in Dubai

A new study into the attitudes of parents in the UAE has revealed that academic record, extracurricular activities and technology outweigh the importance of fees and location when choosing the right school for their child.

The YouGov Education Investment study surveyed approximately 500 parents throughout the Emirates to understand the key factors that impact a school’s reputation.

The full results, findings and analysis of the study will be revealed to delegates of the Education Investment MENA conference, running from 10-13 November at the Address Hotel Dubai Mall.

The study found that when evaluating schools, parents placed a school’s academic record as the most important, followed by its overall reputation, the range of subjects taught, the range of extracurricular activities on offer and the school facilities available.

Functional attributes such as the proximity of the school to home, ease of access and school fees were deemed less important, suggesting that parents in the UAE are more willing to pay higher costs or travel further in order to place their child in a school with a strong academic record.

The survey found that overall, 44% of parents believed they receive good value for money from their child’s school, citing factors such as the quality of the class teacher, positive word of mouth recommendations, and the quality of the head teacher as attributes which contribute significantly to their perception of value for money.

Kailash Nagdev, Managing Director at YouGov UAE, said: “These insights show that it is critical for schools to invest in their reputation. This means firstly understanding how parents evaluate schools and secondly, understanding what parents see as ‘value add’.

“Our research and sector experience tells us that these needs vary according to nationality and choice of curriculum. A strong reputation needs to be earned over time but it starts with truly understanding parents and children’s needs. This research suggests that delivering on parents’ needs will have a greater impact on the long term success of a school than other, often assumed important factors such as location and price.”

According to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority school rankings for 2013-2014, seven schools received an ‘unsatisfactory’ grade upon inspection, while 12 establishments were tested as ‘outstanding’. Approximately half of the 140 schools in Dubai were ranked between ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’, while the overall pass rate stood at 95%.

Delegates attending the four day Education Investment MENA conference this year will receive a hard copy of the YouGov Education Investment survey which will help them understand the decision making process of prospective parents in the UAE. The conference this year will also identify how to increase investment in education across the board, from premium K-12 schooling, through to Higher Education, Vocational, Special Educational Needs and Ed-Tech.

Education Investment MENA is held in partnership with HUMANSOFT and supported by Gold sponsors GEMS Education, SABIS® and Laureate International Universities, and Silver sponsors Ryan International Group of Institutions, Clyde & Co, Colliers International and IT School Innovation.

– Investment Education MENA