Miércoles 31 de Agosto de 2005, Ip nº 124

Parents 'not saving for studies'
Two thirds of parents whose children may go to university in the next two years have not saved extra money to help them study, research suggests.
But 65% were worried about the debts their children would face and a third thought they would be able to help.

With average study costs at £9,000 per annum, investment firm Fidelity International said: "It is vital that they plan their savings in advance."

YouGov surveyed 2,054 adults - 650 with children under 18 years - in July 2005.

Fidelity reported that three quarters of the parents said they could not afford to save at the moment and half that they were struggling with day-to-day finances.

'Additional worry'

Richard Wastcoat, Fidelity's UK managing director, said: "The phenomenon of undergraduates facing significant university costs is still relatively new and, as such, this is an additional worry parents have for their children's financial future that they didn't have before.

"Despite parents' best intentions to help their children financially, our research shows that for those with children approaching university today they will be struggling to do so."

Earlier this month, a survey by NatWest found 56% of students in England starting university this autumn would be less inclined to go next year because of higher tuition fees.

Most universities will be charging £3,000 a year from 2006-07.

However, another survey by the bank suggested that graduate salaries were rising faster than graduate debt.

Rising salaries

It said on average a student could expect to graduate with £12,640 of debt in 2005 compared to £12,180 in 2004 - the smallest rise for at least five years.

Separately, average graduate salaries had risen from £13,600 in 2004 to £14,090 in 2005.

NatWest also said 31% of parents gave money regularly to their children during term time compared with 28% in 2004.

"It is great to see that the level of graduate debt has not risen at the same pace as in previous years, which could be due to the increase in parental support that we have seen this year," Anne Marie Blake, head of student banking at NatWest said.

Meanwhile, a study by the Royal Bank of Scotland in July found that 40% of students over the next year would take part time jobs.

It said that London was the most cost-effective city to live and work in, and - of - 24 towns studied, St Andrews the most expensive.

  29/08/2005. BBC News.