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International students pay most for education in Australia, US and UK, says HSBC study

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Asian parents planning to send their children to study in Australia, the US and the UK should expect to pay USD30,000 per year on average, according to HSBC.

The bank reviewed available data on higher education in 13 countries and territories around the world.
 
Australia ranks at the top of the list with combined average costs of university fees and living expenses of over USD38,000 per year for international students. The US was in second place with total costs at over USD35,000 per year. International students in Ivy League universities could pay over two thirds (67 per cent) more, with average total costs reaching over USD58,000 a year.
 
The UK, with total costs at just over USD30,000, was the third most expensive destination overall. International student costs in the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong are all above USD20,000, as a result of higher costs of living in these three premier emerging market destinations.
 
Vineet Vohra, HSBC’s regional head of wealth development, Asia-Pacific, says: “Assuring children’s education is a top priority for Asian parents who aspire to secure a positive future for their children. With the relationship between educational qualifications and lifetime earnings well established, the desire to attend further education is increasing across the world.
 
“However, as HSBC’s analysis reveals, this is no small financial goal. While education planning is relatively predictable, given the defined timing and duration of the expenditure, the total costs are not controllable. College education spends are significant and rising. They could have a significant financial impact on one’s overall financial net worth. Those who wish to educate their children overseas need to consider more factors than just tuition fees – such as living costs, exchange rates and inflation in their estimates of total costs. As such, there is a need for parents to ensure their children’s education forms an integral part of their strategic financial plans.”
 
The survey also showed that the majority of students in Asia, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, prefer vocational courses. Seven in 10 (74 per cent) students in the top 10 courses in terms of enrolment are taking vocational courses, compared to five in 10 (56 per cent) in the US, UK and Canada on average. Engineering ranked as the top course in Singapore and Taiwan, and second in Hong Kong.
 
In Hong Kong, half of the top 10 courses are vocational, including business management, engineering, health, IT and education/teacher training. Six in 10 (64 per cent) students are studying these courses.
 
In Singapore, seven of the top 10 courses include engineering, business & administration, accountancy, IT, architecture & building, law and medicine. Almost eight in 10 (78 per cent) students are studying these courses.
 
In Taiwan, six of the top 10 courses include engineering, business & administration, health, IT, design and education science. Almost eight in 10 (79 per cent) students are studying these courses.
 
Vohra says: “Vocational subjects are popular in the region as these are traditionally seen to be an important route to jobs offering stable income and promising career prospects. We expect this trend will further be supported by the relatively faster growth in emerging markets.” 

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