When it comes to investing in a child's education, parents in Hong Kong spend the most; on average over $130,000 from primary school all the way through to university.

Next is the UAE where parents spend almost $100,000 on average, followed by Singaporean mums and dads at $70,000.

In the US – home to six of the top 10 global universities – parents spend an average of $58,000 – less than half the average spend in Hong Kong.

Image: Stastista

That’s according to a new study by HSBC, which looked at how much parents in different countries and territories around the world spend on their children’s education.

The average spend in France is the lowest of the 15 countries surveyed, at just $16,000. It’s a similar story for India, Indonesia and Egypt, where parents all spend less than $20,000 on average on their children’s education.

French parents are also pretty pessimistic about their offsprings’ prospects. Less than half (42%) are confident of a bright future for their children, compared to the global average of 75%. Those with the most optimistic views can be found in Asia, almost one in nine parents in India (87%) are optimistic about their children’s future, and 84% of parents in China said they felt the same.

Funding their children’s education is a top priority for most parents; 87% of parents around the world are helping to fund their child’s education.

This includes paying for school/university tuition fees, books, uniforms, transport and accommodation. And parents are going to great lengths to ensure that they can invest in their children’s future. They make many personal sacrifices, including cutting back on hobbies or reducing their leisure activities, including holidays.

Image: HSBC

Firm opinions

Given the amount they are spending, it’s no surprise that parents have a firm view on how that money should be spent. Parents favour degrees that lead to traditional jobs, such as Medicine (13%) and those involving business, management and finance (11%) and engineering (10%).

They are also keen on their kids getting as much education as possible. Over three quarters of parents (78%) think completing a postgraduate degree is important for their child to get full-time employment in their chosen occupation, and a similar proportion (76%) expect to contribute to the cost of postgraduate education.

However, the bank warns that parents aren’t planning properly for their outlay, with nearly three-quarters relying on their day-to-day income to help fund their children’s education, rather than on longer-term investments and savings.

The study collected the opinions of 8481 parents in 15 countries and territories around the world: Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, UK and USA.