Children’s tuition fees a key concern for GCC professionals in pharma, telecom sector, reveals survey
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Children’s tuition fees a key concern for GCC professionals in pharma, telecom sector, reveals survey

Children’s tuition fees a key concern for GCC professionals in pharma, telecom sector, reveals survey

According to the survey, 71 per cent of UAE parents across these industries don’t have an education savings plan, and spend a significant amount of their monthly income on tuition fees

Gulf Business
Zurich-YouGov survey

Professionals in the pharmaceuticals, telecom and social services industries in the UAE are primarily concerned about their children’s tuition fees – an expenditure that features prominently in most households’ monthly expenses, a survey by Zurich International Life has revealed.

The survey also found that parents in the education and academics industry are spending around Dhs91,000 annually to pay tuition fees for their children’s education from pre-school to date, compared to those employed in the public sector who spend approximately Dhs46,500 per year.

According to the survey, 39 per cent of families in the UAE are digging deeper into their personal savings while 15 per cent have resorted to taking personal loans.

Conducted in partnership with research firm YouGov in July 2022, the survey covered over 1,500 GCC residents across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. It also included parents and married residents across various income groups, occupations, age groups and gender.

Top concerns for UAE parents
According to the survey, 54 per cent of UAE parents said that they prioritised living expenses compared to 53 per cent who cited their child’s admission to a higher learning institution of choice as their priority.

The survey findings also showed that the average annual cost of education among those surveyed in the UAE is Dhs45,676 even as eight out of 10 couples in the UAE set aside 40 per cent of their monthly income to pay tuition fees. Confidence levels were not very high, with only 34 per cent of UAE residents feeling “very confident” that they will be in a position to support their children’s further education financially.

Why parents are investing in education plans
More parents in the region are investing in education savings plans to ensure they can adequately provide for their child’s education. Among those parents that have invested in a savings plan, 29 per cent said that they were mostly influenced by their social circles, while 27 per cent were influenced by financial advisors.

When it comes to selecting a destination for their children’s higher education, 41 per cent of UAE residents said they plan to send their children abroad, with only 12 per cent hopeful of getting a scholarship. Popular higher education destinations included the US, Canada, UK and India among others. However, the UAE still ranked as the top destination, with 35 per cent of parents across the GCC choosing this as their preferred location.

Around 43 per cent of the parents surveyed said that a better understanding of education savings plans and their benefits would motivate them to invest in the same.

“Our recent survey has unearthed interesting insights including the fact that a good 62 per cent of parents in the GCC use their monthly income for school-related expenses while the majority of others rely on personal savings or loans. With the increasing cost of education and uncertainties of life, parents should seriously consider investing in structured savings plan to support their child’s education. Always back your education savings plan with life insurance cover, which fully protects you and secures your child’s future,” said Rayner Britto, head of Distribution at Zurich International Life.

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