Private schools in Dubai will not be eligible for tuition fees hike from the new academic year, according to Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA. The announcement follows the release of the annual Education Cost Index, ECI, calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre at -2.35 percent. The ECI is based on statistical indicators that are in accordance with international standards. Mohammed Darwish, Chief of KHDA’s Regulations and Permits Commission, said, "The School Fees Framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long-term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer. The Education Cost Index provides complete transparency to both families and investors and balances expectations." Over the last seven years, 72 new schools have opened in Dubai and more than 70,000 additional students have enrolled, marking a 31 percent increase in the number of students attending private schools. The KHDA School Fees Framework outlines guidelines for schools to increase fees depending on their inspection results and ECI. The ECI of -2.35 percent means that fees will remain unchanged for the 2020/21 academic year. Some private schools may be eligible for an exceptional fee increase based on clear eligibility criteria as outlined in KHDA’s exceptional fee framework guidelines. Enrollment at Dubai’s private schools increased by 2.9 percent last year, according to the latest education landscape report released by KHDA.