Overseas education gets pricier | The Standard

Marcus Lum

Parents need at least HK$3.6 million for the education expenses of their children in the United Kingdom over the seven years from primary one to secondary three, a HSBC survey found.

”This include expenses such as tuition fees, living expenses and extracurricular activities amounting to HK$2.9 million this year,” said HSBC Hong Kong’s head of customer experience, wealth and personal banking, adding this is roughly 10 percent more than last year’s HK$2.6 million.

The bank found other hidden costs, such as money spent on visiting children and preparation for higher education, estimated at around HK$700,000, attributed to inflation and exchange rate fluctuations.

Yung anticipates that the costs of studying in the UK will increase by an average of 10 percent annually over the next few years, adding further strain on family finances.

HSBC surveyed 900 parents in Hong Kong in March, with 700 saying they plan to have their children study abroad. Among them, 301 said they will send their children to the UK.

Yung said that more than half of surveyed parents prefer their children begin their education in the UK when they are in primary or junior school.

”Around eight to 10 percent of the 700 respondents who planned to send their children to study abroad said they would like their children to study in university overseas,” she said.

But over 60 percent of parents said they currently do not have sufficient reserves to send their children to study abroad.

HSBC has partnered with the British Council to provide all-round support to young generations to pursue studies in the UK.

The partnership offers a wide range of activities to students, including the HSBC Premier Academy-University of Oxford Taster Programme & Imperial College London Exploration Camp this summer, in which students will fly to the UK for summer school to have a taste of studying in some of the top universities there.

British Council Hong Kong director Susannah Morley said a three-day event, “SPARK III,” will be held at Airside in Kai Tak from October 18 to 20. It features 23 activities for students and parents, providing interactive experiences, performances, stimulating talks and other innovative happenings as well as acting as a platform for collaboration and cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the UK.

Brian Hui, head of HSBC Hong Kong’s customer propositions (international) and marketing, wealth and personal banking, said that with currency fluctuations, tuition fees and travel expenses, the pursuit of foreign education is challenging for parents.

”Partnering with the British Council enables us to provide even more comprehensive guidance and access to our customers and children. [It will be] particularly beneficial to those considering education in the UK, a popular destination among our clients,” Hui said.

marcus.lum@singtaonewscorp.com

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