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  • The cost of sending your child to a UK university degree could run into millions, according to one study by local wealth managers.
  • If you have plans to send your bright four-year old to study abroad after matric, you may need to start setting aside R17,000 a month.

Increasingly, clients are saving for an offshore education for their kids, says Charlene Prinsloo, wealth manager at AlphaWealth

“We've investigated the costs and they are staggering.”  AlphaWealth looked at the annual tuition cost of a number of overseas universities for 2019: 

The estimated cost of offshore universities for South Africans in 2019

In contrast, the average cost of university tuition is around R35,000 per year in South Africa.

The total cost of getting a degree at Edinburgh University, including accommodation, text books and living costs, would be about R2.5 million, AlphaWealth estimates. 

If you have plans to send your bright four-year to an overseas university after matric, you would need to have R9 million by that time, Prinsloo says.

That means that you would have to start saving up to R17,000 a month - increased by 10% per year - to be able to afford an overseas education once they leave school.

Read also: To get into Harvard, Oxford or Stanford, SA teens must do these two things

She has these three tips for parents wanting to send their children overseas to study:

1. Align your assets with your liabilities. As the liability in this case will be denominated in foreign currency it makes sense to invest in foreign currency. This will protect the value of the investment should the Rand depreciate over the period.

2. Do your homework. Understand the budget required for your child to live overseas. Many of the universities supply estimated tuition fees and cost of living for international students on their websites – this is a good base to work from.

3. Investigate scholarships. Most universities and colleges offer scholarships. These scholarships are difficult to get and the process of applying is somewhat tricky but there are organisations that can assist.


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