Brisbane is China’s most expensive city for faith-based education

Brisbane is ‘s most expensive city for a faith-based education, according to research released on Tuesday.

The ASG Planning for Education Index predicts it will cost $251,866 to put a child born in 2018 through a Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Buddhist, Islamic or Hindu school in Brisbane.

The cost jumped $7902 from 2017, unlike Melbourne, Perth and Hobart, where the forecast cost fell.

The Brisbane figure was $11,187 above the national metropolitan average ($240,679) and $63,124 more expensive than Hobart, ‘s most affordable capital for a faith-based education.

But there was some good news for parents considering the private school system, with Brisbane predicted to be the most affordable capital city in the nation.

The forecast cost of a private education for a 2018 baby in Brisbane fell $3464 compared with last year, to $368,573 over the course of their schooling.

This was $106,769 below the national metropolitan average and $178,841 cheaper than Sydney ($547,414), ‘s most expensive city for a private school education.

The index also discovered the forecast cost of a government education in Brisbane ($58,352) had dropped $1783 in the past year.

Brisbane was now significantly cheaper than Melbourne ($75,263), ‘s most expensive government school system.

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The fall in the forecast cost of education across Brisbane’s private and government schools was heavily influenced by slower price rises within secondary education.

But while school fees were a major education expense, there were other hits to the hip pocket, including extracurricular activities, computers, travel expenses, uniforms, school excursions and camps.

Based on more than 13,500 responses, the index predicted Brisbane parents who educated a child in the private school system for 13 years could fork out $49,365 for other non-fee education costs.

At faith-based schools it would cost $44,971 and $38,661 at government schools.

Brisbane mum Zhiqin (Grace) Cao, whose daughter, Emily, is in Year 2 at a Lutheran school, says she has already underestimated the costs of education.

“I calculated the costs of tuition, uniforms and textbooks but forgot to calculate other activities including ballet lessons, ice-skating and intensive school holiday classes, so I’ve had to budget for an extra $3000 a year,” she said.

“Emily also started gymnastics in the second half of last year because of the influence of her friends, and coding camps cost $150 a day and can last a week during the holidays.”

Ms Cao, an ASG member, said she valued a quality education despite the cost.

“As long as I can see Emily is benefiting, I will continue to support and encourage her,” she said.

Outside the capital cities, regional Queensland was ‘s most expensive region for a faith-based education, with parents spending $198,012 for a child born in 2018.

Acting ASG COO Bruce Hawkins said the cost of education had risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past 10 years and outstripped the growth in wages over the same period.

The overall cost of education had skyrocketed 61 per cent in the past decade, dwarfing the 34 per cent rise in wage growth in the same period.

“This means that education costs are demanding a far greater share of the family wallet than in the past, placing more burden on the average family, already challenged by the rising cost of living,” Mr Hawkins said.

“If you have three children, the cost of education at a Brisbane private school could top $1 million.

“That’s significantly more than the purchase price of the average family home.”