Local parents are estimated to be spending around HK$1.03 million for the education of each child from primary school to university, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a recent HSBC study.
The study, which covers 15 countries and regions, has found that Hong Kong parents are the biggest spenders on their children’s education, followed by the United Arab Emirates at HK$780,000 and Singapore at HK$550,000.
It also found that nearly 90 percent of Hong Kong parents have hired private tutors for their children, making tutorials a core expense item.
The study interviewed 8,481 parents who have at least one child at 23 or below and is going to receive or is receiving education. As one of the criteria, at least 500 respondents must be interviewed in each country and 150 of them must have at least a child receiving tertiary education.
Mrs. Lui said she must have spent over a million dollars on her son Owen’s education, although he has two more years to go before he graduates from the university.
Although Mrs. Lui opted for government-run interest classes during Owen’s primary and secondary school years, the burden was still heavy as she had to spend HK$3,000 to $4,000 a month when her son was studying at Pui Ching Primary School and Diocesan Boys’ School.
Now that her son is in a local university, Mrs. Lui said tuition amounts to around HK$50,000 a year, while living in a dormitory costs around HK$8,000 per quarter, not to mention the pocket money of HK$1,000 per week.
Owen is thinking of furthering his studies in a prestigious US university, where tuition alone could cost HK$50,000 a month.
To meet soaring education expenses, some 50 percent of parents surveyed said they make sacrifices like cutting down on entertainment. Some 27 percent of the parents said they have reduced contributions to their long-term saving or investment plans.
While the report found that 75 percent of local parents would pay for the educational expenses with their regular income, 19 percent said they have set aside specific reserves or investment plans for their children’s school expenses. This percentage is slightly lower than the global average of 21 percent, and trailed considerably to mainland China’s 43 percent, which is the highest among all countries and regions surveyed.
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