UAE parents pileup debt to send kids to top university
Spending is 140 per cent above global average
Parents in the UAE are racking up thousands of dirhams on their credit cards to cover higher education costs as they eye the best universities for their children.
Research shows that mums and dads eager to give their kids the best are spending 140 per cent more than the global average on university costs – and that’s just tuition fees.
The survey, by HSBC, shows that parents in the UAE are the biggest spenders globally on higher education, paying an average of $18,360 annually compared with an international average of $7,631.
As a result, more parents are getting into huge debt to cover education costs, according to Kunal Malani, HSBC Bank Middle East Regional Manager.
The study, titled The Value of Education: Foundations for the Future, surveyed 6,241 people across 15 countries and territories, including more than 400 in the UAE.
Two thirds of UAE respondents said they would be willing to go into debt to cover costs of higher education for their children.
Malani said: “We’re certainly seeing customers willing to personally borrow money to fund their children’s education. It’s very common.
“We know customers are borrowing on their credit cards to pay school fees.”
One of the reasons behind the high level of spending is because 58 per cent of respondents said they would consider sending their child to a university abroad – with the US being their top choice.
University prices in the US are higher than the UAE, with the cost of studying medicine – a top pick among parents in the survey – in the UAE totalling $26,558 compared with $44,724 in the US. Karen Bauer, Regional Director of Education USA, said: “A higher education that is international in scope has become a requirement for those seeking top careers. Parents are looking to an education abroad to give their children an advantage because it provides international work opportunities.” She added that parents and students should look at options such as community colleges and other non ivy-league schools if they want to study in the US, that still offer quality education, as an alternative option.
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