Majority of Indians want their kids to study abroad, open to online degree: Report

A majority of Indian parents want an international education for their children. As per the HSBC Value of Education report, Indian parents are also among the most willing to enroll their child for an online degree with reduced costs seen as the main benefit.

According to HSBC’s partner, the Institute of International Education (IIE), China is the leading country of origin for international higher education students, sending an estimated 801,000 abroad, with India (182,000) and Malaysia (64,000) also exporting significant numbers.

Student numbers

The majority of parents (73 percent) considering university abroad for their child expect to make a significant financial contribution, and estimate the overall average cost of an undergraduate and postgraduate degree abroad to be an estimated USD 157,782 (estimated USD 71,580 for undergraduate and USD 86,202 for postgraduate). Many parents (45 percent) would go further and consider buying a property in the country where their child is studying.

M Saraswathy

M Saraswathy
Special Correspondent|Moneycontrol

Edu costs

Overall, the USA is the most considered international destination by parents for their child’s university education (47 percent), ahead of Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany and France.

Source education


More generally, spending on education is particularly resilient in Asian countries. For 44 percent of parents in India and 42 percent in China, paying for their child’s education is their most important financial commitment.

The Value of Education is an independent consumer research study into global education trends, commissioned by HSBC. Higher and higher, the fourth report in the series, was published in June 2017 and represents the views of 8,481 parents in 15 countries and territories around the world: Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, UK and USA.

Trista Sun, HSBC’s Global Head of International and Cross Border, said, “With 39 percent of parents having specific universities abroad in mind for their child, their investment goes beyond the financial. They spend a lot of time and energy to help their child build their academic profile and other credentials in order for them to meet the entry requirements at prestigious universities.”

Sun added that with an undergraduate’s total cost expected to be around USD 72,000 on average, the investment is financially significant for parents.

Going abroad reasons

Over two-fifths (41 percent) of parents would consider a university education abroad for their child, and they are more likely to consider a postgraduate education (36 percent) than an undergraduate education abroad (34 percent).

Despite a common idea that international students would stay in their host country after graduating, parents’ top expectation (35 percent) is that their child would search for full-time employment at home. Only 9 percent would like their child to search for full-time employment in the country where they have completed their university education.


Parents, especially those from India, are also not shying away from online degrees. Reduced travel and living costs (52 percent) and lower tuition fees (50 percent) are seen as the main benefits.Online education

Further, they also recognise the lifestyle advantages, with nearly half (47 percent) citing the more flexible learning environment and almost two-fifths (38 percent) saying it will develop their child’s technology skills.

However, parents also see drawbacks with online degrees, such as fewer opportunities to interact with peers (46 percent), a less close relationship with lecturers and tutors (44 percent) and not enough interaction during the course (40 percent).

The report has suggested that not only should parents start planning early and also be realistic about the costs.