Why Copenhagen is the cheapest city in Europe for international schools

The Local Denmark
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Why Copenhagen is the cheapest city in Europe for international schools
Danish Minister for Children and Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil visiting a school in Copenhagen in August. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen has been ranked as the cheapest city in Europe and second-cheapest in the world for international schools, in a new study. Here's why.


The International Schools Database is a comparison of international schools in cities across four continents.

In a price analysis using the database, international school costs were compared for 21 cities in 15 European countries.

Some schools and prices may not be included for individual cities, either because they do not make their price data available or because it was unknown to researchers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Switzerland is the most expensive European country for international schooling. The Swiss cities of Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne take the top three spots on the overview, with prices in Laussane-Vaud and Geneva starting at a minimum of 13,488 euros per year.

The widest range of school prices - from just 2,312 euros per year to 30,456 euros - is found in Paris, while the French capital also offers the lowest minimum price of the included European cities.

The lowest maximum, however, belongs to Copenhagen.

Graphic: International Schools Database

Although the Danish capital is not cheaper than its European counterparts generally, both public and private schools, including international schools are all subsidized by the state.

This is likely to be a key factor in international schools being relatively affordable in Copenhagen.

“We believe that Denmark has (comparatively) cheap international education available because in Denmark government-approved private schools (including international schools) often receive the same amount of government funding as public ones,” Andrea Robledillo, co-founder of International Schools Database, told The Local via email.

“This may explain why education is so affordable - comparatively speaking - in Copenhagen, as international schools in the rest of the world tend not to be subsidized (or are only partially subsidized) and the full cost of them is normally paid by parents,” Robledillo explained.

Another key factor for parents in Copenhagen to note is the limited variation in cost between schools.

“It is interesting to note that in Copenhagen not only the median, or even the mid-range schools, are affordable, but that almost every single international school in the city is (comparatively) affordable,” Robledillo said, noting that all schools but one have yearly fees of less than 5,000 euros per year (37,000 kroner).

“This is not the case in any other city, where the range of prices tends to be wider, with multiple schools in each part of the spectrum (of) affordable, mid-price, and expensive,” she added.

READ ALSO: Princess Marie opens Denmark's first public international school


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