We’re afraid it’s bad news for parents in the UAE. If you think the cost of having a kids are high now, just wait until they go to college or university.

According to a new study by HSBC parents in the UAE spend 140 per cent more on university costs than global average.

There’s nothing prouder for a parent than seeing their little one grow up and head off for ventures new as they embark on higher education. After all, this is a stepping stone to a successful career for their children.

However, the dream comes as a very high price with HSBC’s research revealing parents in the UAE pay the most on average for university globally.

HSBC’s The Value of Education: Foundations for the Future survey looked at 6,241 people across 15 countries and territories, including more than 400 in the UAE. It evaluated parents’ aspirations for their children’s education, and the challenges they face in meeting these ambitions.

The results found that parents in the UAE spend the most globally on college US$18,360 annually (Dhs67, 439), compared to an international average of US$7,631 (Dhs28,029) annually. That’s over double the amount.

Part of the high costs is down to the fact that the country’s predominantly expat community, want to send their children to higher education abroad.

The most popular destinations for UAE parents include USA, UK and Australia, which are among the top four most expensive countries for higher education.

Meanwhile, medicine is highlighted as the most popular field of study parents would like their children to pursue, the annual cost of which amounts to US$26,558 (Dhs97,551) in the UAE, and up to US$44,724 (Dhs164,277) in the USA.


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Karen Bauer, Regional Director, Education USA, said: “A higher education that is international in scope has become a requirement for those seeking top careers in today’s competitive, increasingly global job market. Parents are looking to an education abroad to give their children an advantage because it provides international work opportunities, foreign language skills, and exposure to intercultural experiences – skills that are valued by employers around the world. However, parents need to have a long-term plan in place to enroll their children abroad, especially as costs continue to rise.”

Financial experts at HSBC advise saving those dirhams well in advance if you wish to send you child to a top notch university.

“Parents naturally want the best for their children and hope that a strong education will put them in the best position to lead a prosperous life. Of those in the UAE looking to send their children abroad, half (52 per cent) would even consider investing in a property in that country. However, the choices in terms of fields of study and the level of education parents hope their children will gain, coupled with the cost of education and accommodation, indicates there is a mismatch in aspirations and financial preparedness,” said Gifford Nakajima, Regional Head of Wealth Development, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, MENA, HSBC.

It’s looks like it’s time to open that savings account. These money saving tips will help you save a fortune in Dubai.

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