A HSBC report reveals that parents in Malaysia spend an average of RM109,470 on their children’s education. Pic by MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian parents spend on an average of RM109,470 (USD25,479) on their child’s education from primary school up to university undergraduate level, according to Higher and higher, HSBC’s new report in The Value of Education series.

Of the over 8,400 parents in 15 countries and territories surveyed, parents in Hong Kong who spend RM567,394 (USD132,161) on their child are ranked number one globally. This is followed by the United Arab Emirates with RM426,650 (USD99,378) and Singapore RM304,568 (USD70,939).

The expenditure contributes towards all aspects of their child’s education costs, including school/university tuition fees, educational books, transport and accommodation.

In Malaysia, the majority of parents (97 per cent) contribute towards the cost of their child’s primary school education, with 93 per cent also contributing towards their university or college education, said the study.

It adds that globally though, the survey revealed that the figures are lower with 89 percent of parents contributing towards the cost of their child’s primary school education while for university or college education, it stands at 85 per cent.

“On the courses they would like their child to study at university, Malaysian parents were quite ambitious. Medicine (16 per cent), engineering (14 per cent) and business, management and finance (12 per cent) was the most preferred. This sentiment by parents is shared globally too with medicine being the most preferred course at 13 per cent,” the study revealed.

It also said that parents in Malaysia are also very optimistic about their children fulfilling their potential. While 82 per cent of parents in Malaysia are confident that their child will have a bright future, this sentiment is equally shared by India (87 per cent and China, (84 per cent).

Meanwhile, it said that Australia was the most popular choice for Malaysian parents to send their children for overseas university education at 67 per cent followed by United Kingdom (38 per cent) and United States (24 per cent).

Globally though, United States was the most popular choice for countries such as Chinese Taipei (70 per cent), China (61 per cent) and Canada (61 per cent) to send their children for overseas university education, it added.

It also revealed that many parents, when considering university education abroad for their child, have specific criteria in mind when selecting a university – the quality of teaching on offer (67 per cent), the courses the university offers (61 per cent) and the prestige associated with the university (55 per cent).

“However, 31 per cent of parents do not know how much it would cost for their child to study abroad”.

The study adds that another option parents have now was digital learning where 69 per cent parents said they would consider a university degree for their child which is completely online or incorporates some online modules. This figure is even higher than the global average of 60 per cent.

If the online degree is cheaper than the cost of a traditional campus based degree, it influences a large part in Malaysian parents’ consideration (67 per cent) compared to the global average of 60 per cent, was another revelation.

“Education is important for many parents judging by the sacrifice they make in terms of time and money to ensure their children gets the best education,” said the Country Head, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Malaysia, Lim Eng Seong.

He adds that knowing today’s highly competitive global job market, sacrifices and going the extra mile are key drivers for parents to ensure they have the best interests of their child at hand.

“Knowing also that the education landscape in Malaysia has changed over time, many parents are willing to pay good money to ensure that their child have the best education, both in terms of academic and lifestyle, something which they couldn’t experience in their students days,” said Lim.

The Value of Education is an independent consumer research study into global education trends, commissioned by HSBC. Higher and higher, the fourth report in the series, was published in June 2017 and represents the views of 8,481 parents in 15 countries and territories around the world: Australia,

Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, UK and USA.