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University: Parent’s Pay, But Don’t Decide

So you’re going to spend tens of thousands of dirhams on it, you will be the primary source of funding, but ultimately it won’t be you who decides what to buy.


Your kids will be deciding how and where you’re going to be spending your hard earned money.

For university, parents are – by and large – expected to stump up the majority of the money, but only in rare cases will they be the deciding influence as to where their children will end up studying.

In the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com 2014 University survey, we asked how much influence parents had over university choice. Less than 1% of students said parents had the deciding vote, although interestingly parents thought a little differently. In total just over 17% of mums and dads believe their vote should or has been the deciding one…

Across respondent groups (parents, educators, and students), the most common answer given is that parents strongly influence, but do not decide, where students study.

Weighting given to parent influence is highest for those students about to go to university (75% say parents strongly influence), but drops to 66.7% for those students actually at university.

Memory may be hazy after a year on campus, or it could be that those students at university, having gone through the decision making process and come out the other side, have decided that while others advised, one person had to make, and live with, the final call.

Note: Indian students give the most weight to their parents. British and European students are most likely to consider parents as “one influence amongst many”.



Pay Servants

While there is some debate as to who decides, there is less debate over who pays. In total 76% of respondents expect parents to pay for university fees, and 90% expect parents to pay for living expenses.

For university fees, approximately 7% of students expect to take out loans to cover tuition fees, while nearly 14% expect scholarships to cover their costs. A very few respondents said they would pay with their own pay packet.



Interestingly those about to go to university are far more optimistic about non-parent sources of funding than students actually at university.

Students preparing to go to university believe they will be able to access scholarships to help funding (30%), a response that found minimal takers for those actually at university.

Note also Emirati students are the most hopeful of securing scholarship funding, while Indian students are most likely to look for alternative sources of funding – such as working through university, according to the survey. Sons and daughters of British parents in the UAE are the most likely to ask their mums and dads for direct help…

The Survey:
UAE Universities Fail to Make the Grade
Students Failed Before Arrival at University?
UAE Schools Fall Short on University Guidance
University, and Parent Fears
University: Parent’s Pay, But Don’t Decide

About the Survey
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com ran its University survey through the month of February, and collected just under 250 responses from educators, students and parents.

WhichSchoolAdvisor’s research team runs surveys regularly on its web site. If you have an idea for a survey you would like us to consider, please contact editor@edu2021.com.


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