Grahamstown private schools are among the most expensive schools in South Africa, according to the latest rankings by business news website BusinessTech.
With annual fees ranging between R160 000 to R180 000, St Andrew’s College, Kingswood College and Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) are among the 22 most expensive schools in the country.
Founded in 1855, St Andrew’s College is ranked number four on the list, charging an annual fee of R182,700. The all-boys Anglican boarding school, situated at number 1 Somerset Street is leading other Grahamstown schools on the list. The private school caters for 450 pupils from across the world with classes starting from Grade 8 to Matric.
Also on the list is Kingswood College sitting on the 15th spot, with an annual fee of R158,355. Founded in 1894 by then Grahamstown Mayor Daniel Knight, the Methodist co-educational institution is one of the oldest Methodist boarding schools in the country.
Diocesan School for Girls closes the list for Grahamstown schools ranked at 16th place and charging an annual fee of R157,590. The girls-only private school is the sister school of St Andrew’s. Founded in 1874 by Bishop Nathaniel Merriman, DSG is one of the oldest girls’ schools in the country. It is situated in spacious grounds in Worcester Street, adjoining St Andrew’s. The fees are for boarders, but all three schools also cater for day boys and girls.
But what contribution do these schools make to the Grahamstown economy? According to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, Grahamstown is the only city in South Africa whose primary commerce sector is that of education.
The schools contribute extensively to the economy of the town in the edu-tourism sector. These schools traditionally have offered greatly reduced fees for local pupils, an opportunity that farmers in the surrounding areas take advantage of and that has the added bonus of a greater diversity in the student body.
St Andrew’s charges R81,600 for day boys and an entry fee is R15,225. Kingswood’s fees for day boys is R82,9200 and the entry fee is R10,700. DSG charges R82,320 for day girls, and the entry fee is R35,200.