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Asian parents among top spenders on education

Hong Kong families spend triple global average, ahead of Singapore, Taiwan

Asian parents are investing heavily in education to give their children an advantage in an increasingly competitive world. REUTERS/Bobby Yip   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Asian parents are investing heavily in education to give their children better career opportunities in an increasingly competitive job market, according to an HSBC report.

The report was based on a survey of over 8,400 parents in 15 countries around the world, and covered education spending from primary school to university, including tuition fees and accommodation. 

Hong Kong took the top spot. Parents there spend an average of $132,100 per child -- nearly three times the global figure of about $44,200. Singapore and Taiwan followed with about $70,900 and $56,400 respectively.

Parents in China were the best prepared financially among those surveyed. Over half fund their children's education from general savings, insurance, or investments, while over two-fifths have a specific education savings plan.

Asian parents place a strong emphasis on paying for quality education, as they see education as a way to ensure their children's success in life and give them a competitive advantage over their peers in the job market.

In Hong Kong and Singapore particularly, parents spend heavily on private tuition in subjects they feel their children need help. According to local media reports, Singapore's private tuition industry is worth more than a billion Singapore dollars ($732 million) annually. 

Charlie Nunn, HSBC's group head of wealth management, said a child's education is likely at times to cost more than mortgage payments or rent and household bills in nine of the 15 countries surveyed, but did not go into details about the survey's respondents. "To limit the strain that children's education can have on family finances, it's important to plan and save ahead," he said. 

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