Cranbridge International School, Kuala Lumpur
Kiddy123 Frame
Odyssey, The Global Preschool (Mont Kiara)
British Montessori, Ampang
The children's house
Small Wonder Malaysia

Costs of International Education in Malaysia

by on 28/05/2018 7350

While international schools top the list of preferred education choices for the majority of today’s parents in the local scene, it is also amongst the most expensive. The value of international education aside, total actual costs incurred usually involve a daunting set of five to six-digit numbers.


Escalating numbers of new international schools available in the country, as well as the increase in student enrolment each year, proves that more and more parents are opting for an international curriculum with the views of exposing their children to the highest quality education system possible and better prepare them for worldly pursuits later in life. Some will go the extra mile to venture into more investments and allocate a substantial portion of their earnings to cope with the hefty education costs. 


Whether one considers this to be a worthwhile investment, given the costs, some will say take it with a pinch of salt. Premium prices are not a guarantee of quality assurance or gains in return. No doubt, parents highly prioritize education over other non-essentials. However, it will leave most wondering whether the benefits of an international education are sufficient to outweigh the costs, or could those funds have been better invested elsewhere.


So, what are the constituent elements of this hefty sum that international schools charge in return for the most well-rounded learning experience? Anyone who is familiar with the costs of sending their children to an international school is aware that the tuition fee is only one portion of the pie chart. It comprises many miscellaneous fees, from admission confirmation to other annual payments.


Let us take a look at the cost breakdown in respect to the elements that contribute to the total cost of being a student in an international school. While the following provides a close account of the components that makes up the total spending, it is important to note that there remains a degree of variation in the types of fees charged by each individual school.



Overview of Fees and Costs of International Education

For those seeking to enrol their children in international schools, here is an overview of the different fees and costs that you should include in your budget.  


i) Application Fee

Each application submitted is subject to an application fee that is non-refundable regardless of outcome or withdrawal of application. Parents should expect to pay an estimated amount ranging between RM250 to RM1,500 per application.


ii) Registration Fee

This fee is incurred to confirm the placement of a student in the school. It is a one-off fee and a non-refundable one. The term is used interchangeably between enrolment fee and admission fee. In the case of a readmission, an additional fee is imposed upon every returning student. Registration fees range between RM2,500 to RM18,000.    


iii) Deposit

An equivalent of one term’s tuition fee is usually required to be paid as a deposit. Deposits are refundable provided advance notice is given in regard to the withdrawal. This fee usually sits between RM3,000 to RM17,000.


iv) Tuition Fee

Tuition fees are payable on a termly basis and the amount increases as students advance through the academic years. Most schools include the costs of books, materials and resources in the tuition fees. Extra charges may be required from students who require additional English support. Tuition costs approximately RM6,000 to RM 49,000 per annum.  


v) Additional Miscellaneous Fees

This varies across schools. It may include a technology fee to enhance the teaching and learning process. Additional costs may include transportation, uniform, extracurricular activities, excursions, camps, examination fees, school lunches, technology devices, et cetera. Some schools require parents to contribute towards a society membership subscription and building fund contribution.


To find a good match, it is best to head over to the school’s website to perform an accurate cost analysis. Do note that siblings are entitled to a rebate on tuition fees in most international schools. Whether international education provides a significant net overall benefit, it is highly dependable on every individual’s point of view.      


Looking for affordable International Schools around Klang Valley? Read our guide here




The fees suggested in this article are approximate values from select international schools only. They represent nursery to reception levels. Please head over to the website of your preferred school for an accurate cost breakdown.