How OWIS Offers a High-Quality Education for Moderate Fees

Professor Ralph Tabberer
Updated on
September 2, 2020

Many of the most elite institutions around the world have one thing in common: their tuition fees are excessively high. These elite schools claim that their high tuition rates allow them to provide an exclusive education and a luxury experience for their students, but the fact remains that it's entirely possible to offer students a world-class education for moderate fees. High fees do not necessarily equate to better education. Often those schools that claim to offer a better quality of education in return for an inflated price tag can have their priorities in the wrong place.  

One World International School prides itself on the fact that its moderate tuition rates make the school more accessible to a diverse range of families without compromising the quality of education that its students receive. 

This is how OWIS is able to do it:
Maximise Our Resources so Our Teachers Can Focus on Education

Other international schools may boast a long list of supplemental courses that they offer, such as multiple options for second languages or dozens of specialised music classes that focus on teaching a child to play an instrument.  At OWIS, we have trimmed down our options so that each child gets just what they need, yet parents do not have to pay for all of the extras. 

For example, every child at OWIS learns Mandarin as a second language. At another school, they would only learn one second language as well — yet their tuition fees would be paying for the salaries of several different language teachers. By streamlining our options yet focusing on the importance of making our children global citizens, we are offering the best language programme possible. Mandarin is a global language and is one of the official languages of our host country, Singapore.  Offering this as a core subject is extremely important to us and is a useful skill for our students to develop for the future.   

In addition, OWIS has a lean support staff that provides teachers with the additional resources that they need without forcing the parents to pay additional fees to cover the cost of those staff members. We believe that parents should be paying for exactly what they are getting rather than subsidising the cost of superfluous staff salaries. We are not focussed on our profit margin; rather, we are focussed on the quality and value of the education that we provide our students.

We Strategically Invest the Fees Paid Back Into Our International School

At OWIS, we have created a financial plan that allows us to strategically utilise the tuition fees that families pay. Our priorities are:

● Creating competitive salary packages to attract the most qualified teachers. By retaining teachers we keep our costs down, mitigating the need to provide new teacher training or relocation support packages.

● Investing in the most advanced and innovative resources for our students to use. This includes technology, such as iPads, classroom resources and sports equipment. We ensure that our resources are maintained and kept up to date.  

● Maintaining our campus and improving the features at our facilities. This ensures that our students are in a safe and modern environment which nurtures their learning journey. We plan carefully for any work which is carried out, and where possible, ensure that a number of projects are done simultaneously to save costs.

Other schools that boast excellent educational opportunities yet require expensive fees often put a lot of their tuition fees into capital improvement projects. These massive projects often result in significant debt that must be paid off over decades, which continues to drive up the cost of their tuition fees. It is often the case that students do not reap the benefits of these large projects due to the fact that the construction may still be ongoing when they finish their time at school.

We Have Partnered With the Global Schools Foundation to Minimise Our Overheads

The Global Schools Foundation is the parent organisation of One World International School. Our partnership with the Global Schools Foundation provides us with access to marketing materials, facilities management services, human resources services and more. Ultimately, this agreement significantly reduces our overhead costs and allows us to offer our students an incredible academic experience for moderate tuition fees. As part of the foundation, we are able to utilise the global resources and support systems that they provide and streamline our services while keeping the managerial costs down.

At One World International School, we are committed to keeping our fees as low as possible so that many families of all different backgrounds feel welcome within our community. We want to be accessible and inclusive, and we believe that moderate fees are critical to creating a truly multicultural environment. 

We understand that for some families, this is the first time that they have sent their children to a fee-paying school, and have not previously had to take on this financial burden. OWIS strives to make education available to all, and we nurture an environment that supports our community.

We are proud of the fact that we have chosen an internationally-recognised curriculum and have hired the most qualified teachers in order to offer a world-class education at a moderate price point. We truly believe that we are able to offer the best opportunities for your children without breaking the bank.

For more information about the fee structure at OWIS, contact us today.

Afterword

I've been asked many times in Singapore why the other schools have to charge so much more, and my honest answer is that I am not sure. Perhaps it is because the other schools have not been as well-focused and at times, they have invested in appearance rather than the quality in their classrooms. Perhaps it is because they have not gone looking for the back office efficiencies that exist; without those efficiencies, it can be costly to run a school. Maybe they have high debt from their building projects. Whatever the reason, here at OWIS, we are going to do things differently.

I am also asked, are we compromising quality by offering a cut-down curriculum? To this question, the answer is a resounding NO. We are so confident that our model works that we have chosen to base the primary years on the international curriculum that is most associated, globally, with premium price schools: the International Baccalaureate. Some people may have to offer a “no-frills” approach in order to keep prices down, but we want to provide something that parents recognise and can have confidence in.

Then we can help Singapore pioneer a better education at a fairer price.

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Professor Ralph Tabberer

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