HSBC: Malaysian parents spend RM109k on average to educate one child
This was the finding contained in HSBC's new report Higher and higher in its The Value of Education series.
This sum puts Malaysia in the 8th place among 15 countries and territories surveyed involving 8,400 parents, in terms of money spent on all aspects of their children's education costs — including school or university tuition fees, educational books, transport and accommodation.
The list is topped by Hong Kong parents, who spent nearly RM567,394 (US$132,161) for their children's education, followed by the United Arab Emirates at RM426,650 (US$99,378) and Singapore at RM304,568 (US$70,939).
In Malaysia, HSBC said the majority of parents (97%) contribute towards the cost of their child's primary school education, with 93% also contributing towards their university or college education.
"Globally though, the figures are lower with 89% of parents contributing towards the cost of their child's primary school education while for university or college education, it's 85%. Last year, parents' contribution towards the cost of primary school education was a little higher at 98% while contribution towards university or college education was lower at 86%," the bank said in a media statement today.
When thinking about the courses they would like their child to study at university, HSBC said Malaysian parents picked medicine (16%), engineering (14%), and business, management and finance (12%) as the most preferred.
"This sentiment by parents is shared globally too, with medicine being the most preferred course at 13%. This trend is also similar to last year's report where Malaysian parents choose medicine as the preferred course," it added.
As for places to study, HSBC said Australia is the most popular choice for Malaysian parents to send their children for overseas university education at 67%, followed by United Kingdom (38%) and United States (24%).
"Globally though, United States is the most popular choice for countries such as Chinese Taipei (70%), China (61%) and Canada (61%) to send their children for overseas university education," it noted.
Judging by the sacrifice they make in terms of time and money, HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd's Country Head for Retail Banking and Wealth Management Lim Eng Seong said "education is important for many parents."
"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," Lim added.
HSBC also noted that Malaysian parents are very optimistic about their children fulfilling their potential.
"While 82% of parents in Malaysia are confident that their child will have a bright future, this sentiment is equally shared by India 87% and China, 84%. In contrast, parents in France are more cautious, with only 42% being confident of a bright future for their child. Similarly, 85% of parents in India and 78% in China feel confident their child will get a great job, followed closely by Malaysia at 75%," it added.
When planning for their children's education, HSBC said it has identified four actions parents can consider: start planning early, be realistic about the costs, consider university abroad and prepare for the long term.