The FINANCIAL — Newly released data from HSBC’s The Value of Education Foundations for the future report reveals the USA is the destination parents are the most likely to consider for their child’s international university education, with nearly one in two (48%) rating the country as one of their top three destinations from a list of 50 countries.
However, the USA is also the most expensive destination, with the average annual tuition fees for international university students there being as high as USD33,215 per year.
Findings from the survey of 6,241 parents in 15 countries show that of parents who chose the USA as one of their top three preferred destinations for their child’s international university education, those in China (12%), the UAE (12%) and India (10%) made up the largest proportion. The majority (59%) of parents, when asked to select the one reason to best explain why they chose the USA as one of their preferred destinations, say it is because of the better quality of education it offers, while 29% say it is for the job prospects there. Globally, the top reasons why parents would consider a specific destination country are because it offers a better quality of education (54%) or better job prospects for their child in that country (26%).
Commenting on these findings, Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education said:
“Students and parents consider a university education in the USA as a good investment because they have access to the largest choice of excellent colleges and universities and to the English-language skills that are so critical in today’s job market. The USA is home to the largest group of higher education students from around the world– about 1 million in academic year 2014/2015 – who have contributed about USD30.8 billion to the USA economy over the same period from tuition and living expenses.”
“Today, there are 4.5 million students enrolled in universities outside of their home countries, and it is estimated that the global population of international students could double in the near future, achieving approximately 8 million by 2025. Better job prospects, exposure to new cultures, international experience and language skills are some of the most important benefits of study abroad. Ultimately, international students can get the assurances that attending a higher education institution abroad is an investment in the future.”
Germany received highest ratings as an all-round destination for international students
Parents also rated their preferred country destinations on their quality of university education, job prospects, and quality of life. The combination of scores reveals that Germany, Singapore, Canada and Japan stand out as the top four countries across these factors, achieving overall scores of 13.3, 12.95, 12.9 and 12.9 respectively from a maximum of 15. This compares to a score of 12.77 for the USA, parents’ most popular destination for their child’s international university education.
Reflecting on Germany’s score, Allan Goodman commented:
“Germany combines high quality education with no tuition fees and affordable living costs, and many programmes taught in English. The country strives to appeal to foreign students to build up a skilled workforce, and undoubtedly presents graduates with strong career prospects in Germany, Europe and around the world.”
Parents’ ambitions for university abroad
Over a third (35%) of parents around the world would consider an international university education for their child. Ambitions for an international education are the highest among parents in Indonesia (60%), the UAE (58%), Hong Kong (54%), India (47%) and China (44%). Countries where parents are the least likely to consider sending their child to university abroad are Egypt (10%), Australia and France (both 16%).
Commenting on these findings, Charlie Nunn, Global Head of Wealth Management at HSBC said:
“An international university education for their child is a highly desirable ambition for many parents. However, it comes at higher costs, with living expenses and air fares on top of tuition fees. Early planning and regular saving can help parents overcome these financial barriers and unlock the extra opportunities they wish for their child.”