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Where does price meet quality in Mongolian education?

By M.OYUNGEREL

While college students protest about their increased tuition fee of three million MNT, private high school tuition fees has reached 50 million MNT.
As a lifetime investment, paying 50 million MNT for a high quality education is worth it, but if you consider the living costs in Mongolia, three million MNT is too high.
When will Mongolia reach the point where price meets quality?
Private education institution costs are higher than ever, as parents are willing to pay anything is asked in the hopes of providing their children with the best education available to possibly win scholarships abroad. The only way they can accomplish this goal is to send them to one of these highly expensive private schools that promise admission to foreign universities. The schools are said to build well-rounded and open-minded individuals in practical and theory-based settings.

But have these schools gone too far in price?
Last academic year, the most expensive private high-school in America was The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, with an annual tuition of 46,989 USD. The most expensive high-school in Mongolia is the International School of Ulaanbaatar (ISU), with an annual tuition of 24,229 USD (48,385,313 MNT) for students of grades 11 and 12. For parents whose employers provide academic assistance, the tuition fee is 35,630 USD (71,153,310 MNT) for grades 11 and 12 at ISU. Their classes is 60 percent international and 40 percent Mongolian.
Compared to the living cost in New Jersey, Ulaanbaatar is surely much lower. Even if international teachers are getting paid equal to the amount they would receive in their home countries, the other expenditure is likely to cost much less than that of America, for example.
Although children from wealthy families study there and have no problem paying the fees, the Ministry of Education Culture and Science should still check and research whether the tuition fee corresponds to the education and environment offered.
Additionally, the government helps with the marginal costs all secondary schools depending on the number of students. The government used to give 251,200 MNT per elementary school child, 355,900 MNT per secondary school student, and 373,700 MNT per high school student to schools.
Starting from 2015, a new policy emerged and support of private schools decreased depending on their tuition fees. If the school costs above three million MNT, the government support is reduced. For schools costing up to five million MNT, 50 percent of their marginal costs are provided by the state. For ones that cost up to 10 million MNT, 40 percent, and for ones that cost above 10 million MNT, 20 percent of marginal costs are provided.
Even when the government is giving money, their tuition fees are higher than ever.
The following are price comparisons of Mongolia’s most expensive private schools.
International School of Ulaanbaatar has the highest tuition fee in Mongolia. For parents whose employers provide education assistance, 11th and 12th graders pay 35,630 USD, approximately 71,153,310 MNT. For grades six to 10, the fee is 33,445 USD or 66,789,665 MNT, and for elementary school students, it’s 27,439 USD, or 54,795,683 MNT.
For parents whose employers do not provide education assistance, or for most Mongolian parents, International School of Ulaanbaatar charges 24,229 USD or 48,385,313 MNT for grades 11 and 12, 22,743 USD, or 45,417,770 MNT, for grades six to 10. As for elementary school, the school charges 18,658 USD, or 37,260,026 MNT. Overall, this is about a 3,000 USD increase compared to last year. The two-year fee of a graduating class student is equal to the price of a two-bedroom apartment in the city center.
A 12th grader at British School of Ulaanbaatar (BSU) pays 19,350 USD, or 38,641,950 MNT, while a first grader pays 10,080 USD, or 20,129,760 MNT. The fees gradually increase by grades at BSU.
Third comes American School of Ulaanbaatar in Zaisan, with a tuition of 20 million MNT for high-school students, 17 million MNT for grades six to eight, elementary school children pay 13 million MNT. International students pay two million MNT more in all grades than Mongolians at American School.
Note that these fees don’t include additional fees, such as registration fees, uniform prices or library and textbook deposit fees.
The average household income in America, according to the September 2014 Census Bureau Report, is 51,939 USD. The highest high-school tuition fee is equal to 90 percent of the average household income. On the other hand, an average Mongolian household income is 12,924,000 MNT, or 6,471 USD. The most expensive private high-school costs almost four times the average household income.
The average university education in Mongolia costs only a fraction of what these high-schools cost. If 24,000 USD is really what’s needed for a quality education, yet Mongolians’ average income is only 6,500 USD. At what point does quality meet price in Mongolia’s education sector?

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=15987

Posted by on Aug 27 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Where does price meet quality in Mongolian education?”

  1. Pretty sure Orchlon is more expensive than ASU.

  2. This isn’t about a quality education. Mongolian families desperately want to put their children in an environment where students are expected to succeed. These international schools do this with their culture.

    On the other hand most Mongolian schools don’t have this environment, and achievement rates are correspondingly lower. Rich children are no smarter than poor children, but their environment and expectations are dramatically different.

    What’s wrong with these schools if they deliver results and families are willing to pay the tuition? We live in a free market society right? Is it wrong for Good Price to charge three times as much for American apples? The real difference between American and Russian apples is a matter of opinion

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