More than three quarters of parents who took part in a worldwide survey carried out by UK-based financial services company HSBC would consider sending their children abroad for university.
Of the 5,550 parents surveyed across 16 countries, 77% said they would consider having their children study abroad at either undergraduate or postgraduate level to help them stand out in competitive job markets.
The Learning for Life report revealed widespread concerns about employability, with 47% of respondents saying they think it will be harder for their children’s generation to find a job after graduation than it was for their own.
Other key benefits of studying abroad that parents identified included giving students the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the wider world (78%) and to experience different cultures (51%).
“Our survey told us parents believe an international education can help their child stand out from their peers in a job market which has become increasingly difficult”
According to the report, “Parents in Asian countries are most receptive to the idea of sending their child abroad for undergraduate study”.
The results show that Malaysia had the highest positive response rate, with 80% of parents saying they would consider it, followed by almost three quarters of all parents surveyed in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.
Parents in India (88%) were most likely to consider postgraduate study abroad for their children, followed by Turkey (83%), Malaysia (82%) and China (82%).
In contrast, just 52% of parents in Australia, 53% in Canada and 59% in the USA said they would consider sending their children abroad for postgraduate study.
Cost is the main barrier to study abroad, according to the report. Around a third of the parents who would not consider sending their children overseas to study, said that they would like to but could not afford it.
The report also notes that parents’ awareness of the cost of an overseas education varies according to their children’s age. A higher proportion of parents with pre-primary aged children said they would consider sending them abroad for university education, than those with children of university age – 82% compared with 72%.
The proportion of parents who would consider study abroad for children of different ages
Correspondingly, the proportion of parents concerned about cost also increases as their children get older. Less than a third of parents with pre-primary school age children who would not consider sending them to university abroad gave cost as the reason, compared with 42% of those with children of university age.
However, almost a quarter of respondents – 24% – said they would pay 50% more for an overseas degree than for a domestic one, while 45% would pay 25% more.
The proportion of parents willing to pay more was particularly high in China, where 69% of parents said they would pay a quarter more than at home, followed by 62% in Hong Kong and 59% in both India and Taiwan.
“Our survey told us parents believe an international education can help their child stand out from their peers in a job market which has become increasingly difficult,” Caroline Connellan, Head of UK Wealth at HSBC, told The PIE News.
“This is why many parents – especially in Asia – are willing to send children abroad at university, and pay more for the experience compared to what they would pay to educate their child at home,” she explained.
The report is the second in a series, whose findings “have helped HSBC to understand and meet the needs of its customers worldwide”, it states.