There exists a huge gap between the educational aspirations of parents in the UAE and the means to support their children to achieve their goals, according to a new research by HSBC.
The study on the UAE forms a part of a global research that examines the views of more than 5,550 parents across 16 countries. In the UAE the study covered 450 households, of which 92 percent think a university education is vital for children to achieve life goals but are financially unprepared to support their children.
The study shows that nearly half of UAE parents with university-age children (48 percent) recognize the importance of education in securing jobs in an ever tougher job market, yet about 64 percent say the desired education for their children is not within their reach.
Finding of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows unemployment globally is expected to rise from 201 million in 2014 to 212 million by 2019, representing almost three times more of this group than their adult counterparts.
“It’s not surprising to see that parents today are becoming increasingly concerned about the career prospects for their children. Over the last ten years, we have seen growing volatility in global markets, and the increasingly interconnected nature of the economy today means that its effects are being felt by people across the world, said Khalid Elgibali, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UAE and MENA, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.
HSBC’s research shows parents in UAE are among the most career-minded globally, with 89 percent having considered a specific occupation for their children. One-third (33 percent) hope for their children to study medicine — the highest proportion globally to express this sentiment — while other popular careers include engineering (16 percent) and computer science (11 percent).
Although parents in the UAE clearly have high educational aspirations and many want high-profile careers for their children, these goals are often hindered by inadequate financial planning.
The study showed that in the UAE only 40 percent of parents with children in university said that they have a savings plan to support their children while 34 percent said they will depend on their current income. Nearly 21 percent of parents said they had not saved enough because they had not given it enough thought or had dismissed it as being too early to start.
“With an increasingly competitive marketplace, tertiary education will only become increasingly important, but parents in the UAE need to start looking at this more proactively if they are going to give their children the foundation they need to succeed in their endeavors,” said Elgibali.
By Babu Das Augustine
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