Parents still sending children for higher education abroad despite weakening ringgit

Popular choice: Parents and students exploring the numerous tertiary education options available at The Star Education Fair 2015 earlier this year. Parents in Ipoh prefer sending their children for higher education overseas to gain experience. – filepic

DESPITE the weakening ringgit since early 2015, there are parents in Ipoh who are still sending their children for higher education overseas.

Those interviewed by MetroPerak wanted their children to experience studying abroad.

One such parent is a businessman who wished to be known only as Chan, 60.

For him, sending his children out of the country for higher education has always been a long-term plan.

“The depreciation of the ringgit is a sudden crisis, but it should not be the reason for me to deny my daughter the chance for a better future.

“I’ve been planning this with my wife for years,” he said.

Chan, whose 21-year-old daughter is waiting to do her business degree in Australia, said his sister-in-law is already staying there.

“By having my daughter stay with her, I’m saving a lot on lodging and food, which could easily cost me an extra AUD$2,000 (RM5,612) per month.

“I just need to take care of her tuition fees, which costs more than RM200,000,” he said.

Another parent, G.E. Tan, 48, said if her youngest son is able to study overseas, she would consider selling off her property to finance his education.

The mother of two is currently supporting her eldest son, who is studying in Iowa, the United States.

“My youngest son has not made a decision yet, because we still have to see his results at the end of his pre-university course.

“No matter what, I want both my sons to study in another country because I want them to see how other countries are different from Malaysia.

“I believe this will broaden their minds, so they can decide on their own later if they wish to migrate or come back to Malaysia to work,” she said.

“We bought a condominium two years back, because we think that a smaller space will be better for us if our children are overseas in the future.

“I don’t mind giving up the house we live in now if it means my sons can lead better lives,” said Tan, who owns two properties with her husband.

Likewise with a human resource manager who wanted to be known as Ezra, who said she will try to help her children apply for scholarships when the time comes for them to study abroad.

“My eldest son is already planning to study finance or engineering in the United States although he is just 15.

“I’m sure the ringgit will recover. Give it two years or so,” said the 44-year-old.

Ezra added that ultimately, it was her goal to send all three of her children overseas.

“I do a lot of talent recruitment in my line of work. I’ve noticed that when it comes to hiring graduates, students who have studied overseas show better character and communication skills compared to those who study locally.

“I hope my children will be able to have that advantage in future,” she said.

Similarly, homemaker Chong See Mooi, 50, said the weakening ringgit has never caused her to think twice about sending her children abroad.

“I want them to study in places that have better prospects.

“Malaysia hasn’t been doing well in many aspects recently. Even my youngest son, who never wanted to go overseas to further his studies, thinks it’s better to leave.

“In fact, he will be leaving for Perth in Australia this September,” said the mother of three.

Chong’s two older children are already studying in Australia.

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Family & Community , Perak , overseas


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