Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
20th Jul 2015

Global parents’ survey: three quarters would consider university abroad

A newly released survey of 5,550 parents in 16 countries around the world finds that most - 77% - would consider sending their child abroad for either undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Learning for Life is the latest instalment in HSBC’s The Value of Education research series. It was published earlier this month by HSBC and is based on a nationally representative survey of parents in each country who have at least one child aged 23 or younger. The survey was conducted online in March and April 2015 by Ipsos MORI (with supplemental in-person interviews in the UAE). the-16-countries-in-hsbcs-research-sample-for-learning-for-life The 16 countries in HSBC’s research sample for Learning for Life. Source: HSBC The 16-country sample features a number of key sending markets for international students, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey. The research team found that a majority of parents in each country would consider study abroad for their children. Nearly two thirds (64%) would consider overseas study for their child’s undergraduate studies, and a greater majority (seven in ten) would consider it for postgraduate study. "Parents in Asian countries are most receptive to the idea of sending their child abroad for undergraduate study," says the report. "Four in five parents in Malaysia (80%) and nearly three-quarters in Hong Kong (74%), Indonesia (74%) and Singapore (74%) would consider the idea. In contrast, only around half of parents in Canada (51%), Australia (52%) and France (53%) would consider it." HSBC highlights a number of countries as potential hotspots for postgraduate demand. Parents in India (88%), Turkey (83%), China (82%), and Malaysia (also 82%), were especially likely to consider postgraduate studies abroad for their children. More broadly, half of all parents responding to the survey believe that their children’s generation has more opportunity for study or travel abroad than did their own generation. Nearly eight in ten (78%) saw the prospect for students becoming more knowledgeable about the world as a key benefit of a university education. And just over half (51%) valued study abroad as a chance for their children to live overseas and experience different cultures.

Most prepared to pay more for university abroad

Just over a third (34%) of parents who would not consider study abroad for their children said that cost was an issue. Interestingly, perceptions of the relative quality of education also figured significantly in parent’s interest in study abroad. "The quality of education available is also a factor in deterring parents from considering an international university education for their children," says the report. "Of parents who would not consider this option, over a quarter (26%) think that their home country offers a superior university education; rising to around half in Singapore (53%), Malaysia (48%), and India (47%)." On a related note, HSBC also found that those inclined toward study abroad for their children are often also open to paying more for university studies overseas than they would expect to pay at home. Four out of five parents interested in study abroad would consider paying more for an overseas university. The following chart reflects variations from country to country in the sample, but also points out that nearly half (45%) would consider paying up to a quarter more (that is, above the costs of a university education in their home country) while just under a quarter (24%) would consider paying up to 50% more for university studies abroad. hsbc-learning-for-life Percentage of parents in the HSBC sample who would consider paying either a quarter more (shown in grey) or up to 50% more (shown in red) for university studies abroad. Source: HSBC

Interesting perspective

Needless to say, the HSBC effort is a high-level survey covering a wide range of developed and emerging economies and, particularly in that context, global findings have to be considered very carefully indeed. However, the overall impact of the HSBC research is to create an evidence-based sense of perspective from the marketplace. Given the key role that parents play in the study abroad planning of many students, that is a highly valuable perspective indeed. The first report in The Value of Education series last year provided similarly interesting insight as to the parents’ view of the relationship between price and perceived quality. Readers are encouraged to review our earlier report on the 2014 research for additional background and summary findings.

Most Recent

  • Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements Read More
  • Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Read More
  • ICEF Podcast: How podcasting can help engage with prospective international students Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements The Canadian government has announced that it is raising the cost-of-living financial requirement for international students applying for...
Read more
Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Over the past couple of years, the governments of Australia, Canada, and the UK have significantly evolved their...
Read more
Germany announces new labour force integration initiatives for foreign students and graduates In a joint announcement with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)...
Read more
Signs point to cooling demand for UK higher education in non-EU markets Universities in the UK may be facing a challenging year ahead as new data indicates that visas issued...
Read more
US increases visa handling capacity in India American universities and colleges are being supported by their federal government in ramping up their competitive offer to...
Read more
International education a focal point of debate in Australia as the prospect of further regulation looms It didn’t take long for Australian schools and universities to recover their international student numbers once Australia’s border...
Read more
Is Canada losing ground as a preferred destination for Indian students? A featured panel at the annual Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) conference in Vancouver this week raised...
Read more
How is Indian student mobility changing in 2023? The shape of outbound mobility from India has changed over the course of 2023, with the UK and...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links