British and French parents among least likely to save for their kids’ education

Most popular university destinations are also the most expensive, according to HSBC survey

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 11:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 2:48pm

British and French parents are among the least likely to have saved money for their child's education, found a global survey released Wednesday by HSBC.

The HSBC report found that 46 and 43 per cent of parents in the UK and France respectively have done so, both figures falling well below the global average of 67 per cent.

Figures out of Indonesia and India told a different story, with 90 and 87 percent of parents saving for their children's education respectively.

In fact, only Mexican parents were less likely than their British and French counterparts to put money aside, with this rate falling at 39 per cent.

HSBC's survey included over 6,400 people in 15 countries and territories globally, and was conducted mostly online by Ipsos MORI.

The research revealed that 77 per cent of British parents currently funding a child's education are doing so from their everyday income. The majority of these – 59 per cent of the total asked – said that doing so makes it difficult to keep up with other expenses, and this is particularly the case for those with a child at university.

Close to half of parents across the globe who participated in the survey – 43 per cent – would be willing to take on debt to fund their child through university. This rose to 57 per cent of parents considering postgraduate studies abroad for their child.

The US was the most popular destination in the world for parents to send their child to university, with 48 per cent of survey respondents rating the country as one of their top three destinations from a list of 50 countries.

In this poll, the UK came second with 43 per cent of parents' vote. Third was Australia at 38 per cent; Canada came in fourth at 23 per cent.

Yet three of these countries are the most expensive in which to study, with the US, Canada and the UK pricing in with the first, second and third highest tuition fees. The survey cited US tuition fees as £21,730 (US$28,496) per year, compared to £19,402 (US$25,415) in the U.K. and £19,966 (US$26,153) in Canada.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.