Copenhagen avoids price rises to remain Europe’s cheapest city for international schools

Copenhagen remains the cheapest city in Europe and one of the cheapest in the world for international schools, according to a study comparing internationals schools across four continents.

Pupils learning at school
Photo: Anne Bæk/Ritzau Scanpix

For the third time, Copenhagen was ranked as having the cheapest international schools in Europe, in research from The International Schools Database. Copenhagen was also given top ranking in 2019 and 2020.

Copenhagen was placed 73rd out of 76 cities for the cost of international schooling (the more expensive the city, the higher on the list), with only Casablanca, Cape Town and Ipoh – Perak in Malaysia being cheaper. In Europe, Copenhagen was 31st out of 31.

The research compared 76 cities in 50 countries in 2022. Some schools that didn’t disclose their prices were not included.

Out of the 76 cities included in this year’s study, the average price of international school increased in 43 cities. Copenhagen was one of eight cities where the average price slightly reduced. 

The study showed that in 2022, the average yearly price for an international school in Copenhagen was 4,138 euros. The lowest yearly price was 3369 euros and the highest price was 17,468 euros per year.

The price range is smaller compared to other cities with just one school exception, costing 17,468 euros per year.

“In Denmark, both public and private schools (which includes international schools) are all subsidised by the government. This explains why education is so affordable – comparatively speaking – in a country with a reputation for a high cost of living,” Andrea Robledillo, co-founder of the International Schools Database, said in a comment.

Copenhagen’s consistent placing as the cheapest city in Europe for international schools can also be seen as encouraging given a significant number of locations saw prices go up in the latest analysis.

“Of the 76 cities included in this year’s analysis, 43 showed an increase in median price since last year. In most cases this increase was marginal or below 10 percent, however the median price in certain cities increased beyond this,” including a 17 percent and 16 percent rise in Istanbul and Vienna respectively, Robledillo noted.

A screenshot showing Copenhagen’s position near the bottom of the list of the cost of international schools by city. Graph:

Switzerland came out as the most expensive country in Europe for international schools. The Swiss cities Zurich, Lausanne-Vaud and Geneva have prices between 21,000 euros and 26,000 euros per year.

New York was most expensive overall, with international schools costing an average of 39,500 euros per year and the most expensive costing 57,000 euros per year.

The average price for the cheapest international school in Ipoh – Perak in Malaysia – only added to the survey this year – was 2,419 euros. 

READ MORE: Government drops plans to move welfare education to smaller Denmark towns

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish municipalities introduce shorter school days and new subjects

Staff and local government leaders in seven municipalities given more freedom over their administration in a 2021 trial scheme have introduced a number of new measures at schools and elderly care facilities.

Danish municipalities introduce shorter school days and new subjects

The increased autonomy in the seven pilot scheme municipalities have resulted in unconventional approaches in areas such as school timetables and subjects taught at some schools.

The experiences of the seven municipalities are detailed in a report that covers the scheme as it reaches its half-way point. The report was produced by independent research centre Danish Center for Social Science Research (Vive).

“So far, we can see that the greater autonomy encourages new approaches,” Vive project manager Ulf Hjelmar said in a press statement.

“That is not least due to staff in elderly care and individual schools and childcare being part of the decision-making process for changes that promote a better welfare,” he said.

The participating municipalities, Helsingør, Rebild, Esbjerg, Holbæk, Langeland, Middelfart and Viborg, are geographically spread across Denmark.

They have been given greater decision-making freedom in a pilot scheme in which the municipal governments themselves are obliged to give greater freedom to leaders at schools and in elderly and childcare facilities.

Esbjerg and Holbæk have both introduced shorter school days, more lesson with two teachers in classrooms and introduction of new subjects into lessons.

While it is too early to make any definite conclusions about the benefits of this, early signs are promising according to the Vive report.

“It’s generally too early to assess the effects of the specific trial activities. Based on Vive’s baseline measurements however, we can identify potential for increased quality for students,” the institute writes.

The potential benefits are particularly noticeable “in relation to students in vulnerable positions and the wellbeing of students generally,” it writes.

Other municipalities have changed working structures in elderly care. For example, Viborg and Middelfart have both introduced ways of providing increased contact time with staff and elderly residents. Vive also considers this to have potential benefits for users.

A final evaluation of the programme by Vive is due in 2024.