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British and French parents among least likely to save for their kids’ education

Justina Crabtree; special to

British and French parents are among the least likely to have saved money for their child's education, found a global survey released Wednesday by HSBC.

The HSBC report found that 46 and 43 percent of parents in the U.K. and France respectively have done so, both figures falling well below the global average of 67 percent.

Jens Schlueter | Getty Images

Figures out of Indonesia and India told a different story, with 90 and 87 percent of parents saving for their children's education respectively.

In fact, only Mexican parents were less likely than their British and French counterparts to put money aside, with this rate falling at 39 percent.

HSBC's survey included over 6,400 people in 15 countries and territories globally, and was conducted mostly online by Ipsos MORI.

The research revealed that 77 percent of British parents currently funding a child's education are doing so from their everyday income. The majority of these – 59 percent of the total asked – said that doing so makes it difficult to keep up with other expenses, and this is particularly the case for those with a child at university.

Close to half of parents across the globe who participated in the survey – 43 percent – would be willing to take on debt to fund their child through university. This rose to 57 percent of parents considering postgraduate studies abroad for their child.

The U.S. was the most popular destination in the world for parents to send their child to university, with 48 percent of survey respondents rating the country as one of their top three destinations from a list of 50 countries.

In this poll, the U.K. came second with 43 percent of parents' vote. Third was Australia at 38 percent; Canada came in fourth at 23 percent.

Yet three of these countries are the most expensive in which to study, with the U.S., Canada and the U.K. pricing in with the first, second and third highest tuition fees. The survey cited U.S. tuition fees as £21,730 ($28,496) per year, compared to £19,402 in the U.K. and £19,966 in Canada.

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