Warning to parents over higher education savings gap

23 September 2003
Parents are failing to save enough for their children's university education, according to new survey.

Many are underestimating how much a three-year degree will cost and many students are being forced to take part-time jobs in order to make ends meet.

Another recent study by NatWest bank showed that more than half of students now work to support their studies and more than 40 per cent admitted to missing lectures because of their jobs.

With the new university year underway, the survey for Abbey National found that many parents are failing to save for their offspring's future. A third of parents admitted that they had not started to save for university costs, which can now top £22,500.

The bank's survey also showed that a third of parents believed they would only be expected to pay less than £10,000, while a further quarter placed the figure at less than £20,000.

Just a tenth of those surveyed were aware of the actual costs of a university education and placed the figure in excess of £20,000.

Recent forecasts suggest the problem will only get worse, as the cost of university is expected to soar to £34,000 by 2020.

The survey by NatWest bank showed that the level of debt for graduates is rising fast, with an average of around £8,000. More than a quarter of students now owe more than £10,000 and without working three-quarters of students claim they would not be able to financially survive university.

Sixty per cent of students believe that the current tuition fees system is not fair.