UK parents want a good return on their investment in education

The Momentum UK Team 23 April 2014

Parents in the UK expect value for money from their child’s education, according to a new report.

Surveying over 4,500 parents in 15 countries, the report by HSBC found that parents want a university education to prepare their child for career success. 39% of UK parents said that the ability to compete in the workplace and income earning potential are things they expect university to provide for their children. 37% believed it should open up other opportunities in life, but only 11% thought that university should provide access to extra-curricular activities.

The report demonstrates that the need for a university education to provide strong career prospects is perhaps most significant. Only 10% of UK parents believed that a good university education should increase foreign language skills in adult life, yet parents in Taiwan (36%) and France (31%) expected this. However, parents across the world are united in having generally high aspirations when it comes to their child’s education. 89% of parents surveyed internationally wanted their children to go to university, with 71% of UK parents expecting their children to attend.

When prioritising their money for their children, parents in the UK expected to put an average of 24% of their funds towards education. Despite having high aspirations when it comes to their child’s future, many parents feel anxious about the financial aspect. Over a third (38%) said that they find making the decisions daunting, and more than a quarter (27%) said they wish they’d started to plan and save earlier.

Francesca McDonagh, Head of Retail Banking & Wealth Management UK at HSBC, commented on the findings:

“It is never too early to start investing and saving for your child’s education. Decisions about provision for education can weigh heavily on parents in the UK and many regret not starting planning sooner. Funding can be put at risk by the failure to prepare adequately, something of increasing importance when preparing children for an increasingly globalised workplace.”