In a fiercely competitive job market today, education is highly prioritised by parents, with Hong Kong residents shelling out $132,161 (Rs 86 lakh) on their children’s school or university tuition fees, books, transport and accommodation – the highest in the world. Indians, meanwhile, are spending $18,909 ( Rs 12.25 lakh) while the world average spending on children from primary school to university undergraduate levels is about $44,221 (Rs 29 lakh), says an HSBC report: Higher and higher, The Value of Education series.
About 89% Indians fund their children’s education, 79% want them to do postgraduation and 89% are willing to ‘make sacrifices’ for their kids.
The survey of over 8,400 parents in 15 countries and territories said Hong Kong parents spent the most on education, followed by the UAE with $99,378 ( Rs 64.42 lakh) and Singapore with $70,939 (Rs 46 lakh).
Most parents in India (89%) help fund their child’s current stage of education. Over nine in ten (94%) parents want their children to do postgraduation, and of this number, 79% expect to contribute towards funding that too.
Postgraduate degrees are necessary for jobs, feel 87% Indians, fourth highest among all surveyed markets.
Parents ready to make sacrifices
“In today’s highly competitive global job market, education for young people has never been more important. Parents across the world appreciate this and are willing to invest time and money to help their children get the best start in life. Their unwavering support shows in the personal, lifestyle and financial sacrifices they are making. From forfeiting ‘me time’ to giving up hobbies or reducing leisure activities, parents are going the extra mile to help their child succeed,” says S Ramakrishnan, head – retail banking and wealth management, HSBC India.
About 89% of parents in India are ready to make personal sacrifices for their child to succeed, joint fourth highest in all surveyed markets.Budgets have been reduced on leisure activities (44%). Almost a third (32%) parents work extra hours in their existing job, second highest among all surveyed markets. Over a quarter (27%) contribute less to their own long-term savings or investments or have done so in the past (joint third highest in all markets surveyed).
Budgeting is important, with more than half (59%) Indians funding their child’s education from day-to-day incomes, and 48% getting the money from general savings, investments or insurance (third most likely in all surveyed markets) and almost a third (30%) getting the money through a specific education savings or investment plan (ranked fourth in all surveyed markets). Nearly a quarter (22%), however, do not know how much has been contributed each year towards their child’s education.
“While parents recognise that educating a child can be expensive, it is easy to underestimate the full and long-term costs. According to the survey, 89% of Indian parents are ready to make personal sacrifices for their child to succeed. In nine of the 15 countries surveyed, paying for their child’s education is most likely to be parents’ biggest financial commitment, above others such as mortgage/rent payments and household bills,” Ramakrishnan adds.
Engineering most preferred programme
University programmes most preferred by Indians for their children were in India are engineering (18%), computer and information sciences (15%) and business, management and finance (13%). Asian parents also have a lot of faith in their children and are confident they will fulfil their potential. When it comes to their offspring, 87% of parents are sure they’d have a bright future, 85% are convinced they’ll get a great job and 82% are hopeful their children will get top grades in exams.