Value of education: UK and US parents in top-ten countries that think university offers poor value for money, HSBC survey finds

Taiwan leads the way as Canada and France also make it into the chart

Aftab Ali
Monday 27 July 2015 16:41 BST
(Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The value of further education is not just being thrust into the spotlight here in the UK, but across the globe too.

Parents are slowly coming to the realisation their children are having more of tough time than they did – particularly here in the UK where tuition fees across England look set to rise and the maintenance grant will be no more as of September 2016.

An increasingly competitive job market means a standard undergraduate degree is being seen, by some, as not sufficient enough; young people are having to do more than ever, compared to their peers, if they want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by prospective employers.

Postgraduate qualifications and studying abroad are ways to do this, but they can be costly and require intensive planning beforehand.

HSBC conducted a thorough survey into the true value of education across the world by gathering the views of 5,500 parents from 16 countries in its latest report into life-long learning.

Given the large numbers of parents hoping their children will study at university level, a key question is now whether universities offer a good return on investment – with many parents saying university education offers poor value for money.

The UK has joined Canada, America and France in the top-ten as being among those who say further education, in 2015, offers fairly or very poor value for money.

HSBC found that, of parents who think a university education represents poor value, almost half (48 per cent) believe it does not teach skills that are applicable in the real world, while 45 per cent think it does not do enough to enhance career prospects.

By not equipping students with the right skills to stand-out in the job market, the report concludes that universities risk failing to meet the demands of the modern world.

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