TomorrowMakers

Sending your child to a foreign university for higher education is every parent’s dream. But is it a reality?

A survey, conducted by HSBC, shows that sending their children to a foreign university for higher education is the latest rage amongst Indian parents. And they are ready to do everything that they can to provide their children with the best education. The survey's result shows that UAE ranks first in the list of 15 countries where parents were surveyed, while India bags second place. Other countries that HSBC surveyed include Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, Mexico, France, United Kingdom and the United States. The total number of respondents of Higher and Higher report were 8,481 parents across 15 countries and territories. 

The below table mentions how much do parents fund towards their children's education expenses. 

 

*Source: HSBC 'Higher and Higher' report 

What does the report have to say?

  • 41% of parents would consider an international university for their child.
  • The USA is the most popular destination for parents considering university abroad for their child.
  • 87% of Indian parents are confident their children’s future will be bright if they graduate from a foreign university.
  • 85% are confident that their children will get great jobs.

Related: How prepared are you to meet your child’s education cost?

The report, titled ‘Value of Education, Higher and Higher’ shows a significant increase in the number of Indian parents who want their children to study abroad. From 47% in 2016, the number has jumped to 62% in 2017. Unanimously, most parents thought that sending their children to a foreign university would offer several benefits such as:

  • Foreign language skills
  • Increasing confidence
  • International work experience
  • Gaining independence
  • Exposure to new experiences, ideas and cultures

From developing foreign language skills to gaining independence, studying abroad brings along a host of benefits for students. When asked what the main benefits of studying abroad are, 49% of parents surveyed said foreign language skills, 49% said it was gaining international work experience, and 48% said it was exposure to new experiences, ideas and cultures are the biggest benefits of studying abroad, respectively. Whereas, 44% and 43% parents think that university education abroad will increase confidence in their children and help them become independent, respectively.

Related: How to plan for child education expenses

However, while the dreams and benefits are many, many parents also revealed that there were certain barriers involved in sending their children to study in a foreign university such as:

  • Higher education cost
  • Lack of safety and security
  • Child getting homesick
  • Parents missing their child

While most parents agree that emotional factors such as children feeling homesick, parents missing their children, safety concerns act as some barriers to study abroad; the higher cost of education, including the visa, travel, food and accommodation cost, topped the barrier list. You can use this education calculator to evaluate whether or not you can afford your child's educational expenses and give them the kind of education they deserve. 

 

Related: What does it cost to educate your child in India

So, what is the actual cost of sending your kid to a foreign university?

The report says that parents spend an average of $44,221 (approximately Rs. 28 lakh) on their child's primary, secondary, and tertiary education. This is only the monetary value that parents have to bear to secure the right educational opportunities for their children. Apart from this, there are also personal sacrifices that they make to be able to send their children to study abroad.

  • 31% of the parents have surrendered their 'me-time' and hobbies so that they have adequate time to work and earn, and can cut down on expenses
  • 25% of parents have either reduced or completely ceased leisure activities and holidays
  • 23% have changed their working style to 24x7, to be able to earn the amount needed for higher education in a foreign university.

Related: Secure future parenting - a close look at child plans

How can you overcome the cost barrier without sacrificing your personal life?

A whopping 74% of parents said that they pay for their children’s education from their monthly income, while only 21% said that they use a specific investment or education savings plan for this expense.

It is important to understand that not using child plans or education funds when planning your child’s higher education could impact your day-to-day finances. Foreign education is expensive, and the costs are constantly rising. But there are ways for you to combat inflation and meet these costs without your lifestyle getting affected. You can start by using an education calculator to figure how much this will cost. Once you are clear about the cost, start planning as early as possible, and use the different instruments available to help you turn your child's dream into a reality. 

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