For most parents, the U.S. remains the most popular choice when considering an overseas university education for their child, revealed HSBC in its latest report.

In its The Value of Education: Foundations for the future report, nearly half (48 percent) of the parents who participated in the survey named the U.S. among their top three study destinations – alongside the U.K. and Australia – from a list of 50 countries when contemplating their child’s international university education.

While the U.S. is the top choice for the majority of parents, it is also the most expensive, costing an average of up to US$33,215 in annual tuition fees for international students, according to the report.

Parents in China (12 percent), the UAE (12 percent), and India (10 percent) made up the largest proportions of those vouching for the U.S.


Image via HSBC.


When asked why they chose the country as their first choice, 59 percent said it was due to the higher quality of education offered, while 29 percent said that better job prospects in the country were what swayed them.

Commenting on the survey’s results, 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.”

He added that the U.S. is home to the largest group of higher education students from around the world, welcoming some one million students in the 2014/15 academic year, who contributed about US$30.8 billion to the country’s 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,” said Goodman.

“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.”


Image via HSBC.


When asked to rate destinations in terms of quality of education, quality of life, and job prospects, Germany was awarded the highest score, with 13.3 out of 15, followed by Singapore (12.95), Canada (12.9), and Japan (12.9) in the top four.

Goodman said Germany’s high rating came from the fact that it combined “high quality education with no tuition fees and affordable living costs”, in addition to having many programs 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,” he added.

Parents with the highest hopes for an international education for their child are those in Indonesia (60 percent), the UAE (58 percent), Hong Kong (54 percent), India (47 percent), and China (44 percent), while countries with parents least likely to consider sending their child to study abroad are Egypt (10 percent), Australia and France (both 16 percent).

Charlie Nunn, Global Head of Wealth Management at HSBC, advised parents to start planning and saving up early on, as it could help them “overcome financial barriers and unlock the extra opportunities they wish for their child”.

Over 6,200 parents in 15 countries participated in the survey.

Image via Unsplash

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