26th April 2017

As year 13 students around the country begin heading into exam season, many parents’ thoughts turn to putting them through university. Such an education is an aspiration for many young people – but at what financial cost?

a line-up of university graduates in university costs blog postWith tuition fees alone costing an average £9,000 a year – and that’s not even taking into account accommodation, food, books and a social life – university is a significant investment for both parents and students.

An annual HSBC report, the ‘Value of Education Learning for Life’*, shows that although 71% of surveyed parents think university is unaffordable for most people in the UK, nearly half (48%) believe an undergraduate degree or higher is necessary for their children to achieve their life goals.

More than two thirds of surveyed parents (72%) have a specific occupation in mind for their child, and the lengthier (and often more costly) degrees of engineering (11%) and medicine (10%) top the list of parents’ preferred courses.

University costs abroad?

The survey found that although parents see independence (86%) and learning to be financially responsible (82%) among the most important skills university offers, they still expect to support their children financially throughout their higher education years.

More than nine in ten parents said they will contribute to their child’s tuition fees and/or living costs.

And despite the cost, nearly two thirds of UK parents (67%) would consider sending their child abroad to university. Of those parents, 59% would be prepared to pay more for the experience compared to what they would pay to educate their child in the UK.

With the cost of university and living continuing to rise, planning ahead can help ease the financial pressure. Be prepared by understanding what options are available to you.

Taking action early can give parents the confidence that they can support their children through the education that will help them shape their future.

To arrange a review of your finances or discuss specific planning for university costs, visit www.robertnicholas.co.uk or contact 01952 820155

* The Value of Education Learning for life UK Report represents the view of 5,500 parents in 16 countries, including 352 UK parents. The findings in this report are based on a nationally representative survey of 352 parents in the UK, who have at least one child aged 23 or younger currently (or soon to be) in education, and who are solely or partially responsible for making decisions about their child’s education. The research was conducted online by Ipsos MORI in March and April 2015.