Singaporeans Making Financial Sacrifices For Children’s Education – HSBC Report

Singaporeans see higher education, including overseas study, as a clincher for their children’s future success and are sacrificing other needs to finance it, according to a global report by HSBC.

HSBC’s Learning for life report, the second in The Value of Education series, surveyed more than 5,550 parents across 16 countries. The Singapore findings are based on a survey of 336 parents in Singapore who have at least one child aged 23 or younger currently (or soon to be) in education.

The report finds Singaporeans aspire for higher education for their children but are laggards in putting a plan in place to achieve this.

According to the report, 90% of Singaporean parents (versus 79% global average) think an undergraduate degree is essential for their children to achieve their life goals, yet only 66% are using savings to fund it and 23% are reliant entirely on day-to-day income.

Among those parents who have not yet saved anything towards the cost of their children’s university education, 42% say they did not have enough money left to do so after paying day-to-day bills while 27% (versus 23% global average) have not planned for it.

Matthew Colebrook, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Singapore said, “Singaporean parents see tertiary qualifications as crucial for their children to stand out in the increasingly competitive job market and are prioritising this cost over other aspirations, however, this dynamic reveals a paradox in that Singaporeans place education towards the top of the family budget yet many are struggling to financially meet it. This situation can be prevented by planning early in their children’s lives.”

The premium for an international education Singaporeans have high aspirations for their children to undertake international study with 81% of respondents (higher than 77% global average) saying they would consider sending their children abroad for university education.

Moreover, 83% (versus 77% global average) would pay more for an international education than for a domestic one. Fifty percent are prepared to pay at least a quarter more, while a third of respondents are willing to pay at least 50% more.

“Parents understand the value of overseas education and its ability to equip their children with a broader set of skills and experience. Unfortunately, the reality is that currency fluctuations, the cost of living and tuition, as well as the competition for highly sought-after universities, are posing additional barriers for the parents and their children to pursue their aspirations,” Colebrook said.

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