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The Growing Appeal of Studying Abroad Among Parents Worldwide
Discover why 42% of parents worldwide are considering sending their kids abroad for university. Top destinations include the US, Australia, and the UK.

Ever wonder if your parents are secretly daydreaming about your future studying in a far-off land? Well, you're not alone! According to a recent HSBC survey, a whopping 42% of parents across 15 countries are considering sending their kids abroad for university, up from 35% in 2016.


The "Value of Education" report highlights the United States as the top choice for parents, with 47% favoring it as a destination. Australia follows closely at 40%, while the United Kingdom has slipped to third place at 39%. Canada ranks fourth with 25%, despite its growing appeal to international students. Germany, having surpassed its target of hosting 350,000 international students by 2020, is in fifth place at 23%.


The popularity of these countries is due to their policies facilitating international students’ integration into the skilled workforce and providing pathways to citizenship for highly educated immigrants.


Parents cited several benefits of studying abroad, including the development of foreign language skills (49%) and exposure to new experiences and cultures (48%). The report also notes that Asian countries are particularly inclined toward international education, with high percentages of parents in India (62%), Indonesia (61%), China (59%), and Hong Kong (52%) considering it.


Online education is gaining traction, especially in Asia. In India, Indonesia, and China, 82%, 80%, and 76% of parents, respectively, are open to online degrees. Notably, 60% of parents globally would consider an online degree if it were less expensive than a traditional one, although 10% would reject it even if it were free.


Trista Sun, HSBC’s Global Head of International and Cross-Border, emphasized the importance of financial planning for international education. "HSBC’s report shows a growing number of parents, particularly in Asia and the UAE, are willing to invest in their child’s overseas university education to enhance their skills and employability," she stated.


The report reveals that almost all parents (95%) consider university education essential, with 91% also contemplating postgraduate studies. Over three-quarters (78%) believe that a postgraduate degree is crucial for securing full-time employment in their child’s chosen field, with the highest support in China (91%), Indonesia (91%), and Mexico (90%).


Financial barriers remain significant as 40 percent of parents cite the high cost as a potential deterrent. It was also noted that 45% of parents would consider purchasing property in their child’s study destination, reflecting a long-term commitment beyond financial investment.


"Parents invest considerable time and effort to help their child meet the entry requirements of prestigious universities," Sun stated.


The report is the fourth in a series providing comprehensive insights into global parental attitudes and behaviors toward their children’s education.


So, if you're thinking about studying abroad, you're not alone. Your parents might be dreaming about it just as much as you are! 


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by Nadine
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