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Overseas studies can be expensive

Update: September, 06/2013 - 09:57
An HSBC research has found that Asian parents planning to send their children to study in Australia, the US and UK should expect to pay at least US$30,000 per year on average.—File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS)— Parents wanting to send their children overseas to study should ensure that such education is an "integral part of their strategic financial plans," a banker says.

Vineet Vohra, Regional Head of Wealth Development for the Asia-Pacific Region, for the HSBC Group, one of the world's largest banking and financial organisations, said children's education is a top priority for Asian parents, many of whom see overseas studies as guaranteeing them a secure, positive future.

However, such education does not come cheap and its "total costs are not controllable," he said, explaining more than just tuition fees should be factored into the planning process, "such as living costs, exchange rates and inflation."

An HSBC research has found that Asian parents planning to send their children to study in Australia, the US and UK should expect to pay at least US$30,000 per year on average.

The bank said in a press release on Tuesday that in a review of data on higher education in thirteen countries and territories around the world, Australia topped the list with combined average costs of university fees and living expenses of more than [US]$38,000 per year for international students.

It was followed by the US with total costs of more than $35,000 per year.

Total costs that international students in Ivy League universities have to pay reach more than $58,000 per year, it said.

The UK, with total costs at more than $30,000, was the third most expensive destination overall.

International student costs in the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Hong Kong are all above $20,000, as a result of higher cost of living in these three premier emerging market destinations, the HSBC report said.

The research also showed that the majority of students in Asia, especially Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, prefer vocational courses. Seven in 10 (74 per cent) of students in the top 10 courses in terms of enrolment are taking vocational courses, compared to five in 10 in the US, UK and Canada on average, HSBC said.

Engineering ranked as the top choice of courses 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/ teachers training. Six in 10 students are studying these courses, the bank said.

In Singapore, seven of the top 10 courses include engineering, business and administration, accountancy, IT, architecture and building, law and medicine. Almost eight of 10 students are studying these courses.

In Taiwan, six of the top 10 courses include engineering, business and administration, health, IT, design and education science. Almost eight in 10 students are studying these courses. —VNS

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