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Education, really that expensive?

A friend told me that since I have two kids, I better prepare RM1 million for each of them. I looked at her and said, ‘Stop joking. Why would they need so much money for?’ She said that just education alone would cost more than half of the RM1 million today. Again, I asked her to explain. She said the cost of a foreign degree is now easily RM500,000 for a 4 year course. She quoted Australia. I did some checks online and I think she is right. However, if it is ONLY because of an education and no other reasons such as potential migration in the future, there’s little need to spend to much. There are already options to study within Malaysia for Australian university degrees. UK ones too. The last I checked, even American degrees could be done locally.
Of course, if my kids are extremely good and they got accepted into Cambridge or Oxford, they would most probably be on a scholarship. I am not sure if I would want to pay so much money for their studies if they are just an average student. To be very direct, if I am an interviewer, I would believe someone with a 1st Class Honours Degree from Malaya University is by far better than one with a 2nd class lower Honours Degree from Cambridge. Yes, this is my personal opinion. Oh yeah, after working for a few years, it’s everything about your work performance. I have not seen any of my fellow managers hiring experienced candidates simply by looking at the university from where their candidates graduate from.
cost of feesThere are a lot more which we should provide for our children. However, provide it to them objectively based on what they need and what we could really afford. Understand what’s really necessary and what is not. Give them our time and teach them well. Majority of all my friends and colleagues did not graduate from those top of the world universities. We are all doing just fine and in fact a friend who got a 3rd Class Honours Geography Degree from USM has a business doing so well he could travel the world. Nope, his business has NOTHING to do with his degree at all. All the best, regardless of where you may graduate. However, I will not be spending RM1 million for a degree education. My children would have to be extremely good or they can get a normal degree like the majority of us. I prefer to use the money for quality family time instead. Happy saving!
written on 25 May 2016
Next suggested article: Malaysians’ overseas preference: Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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0 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you! Many people nowadays (even the students themselves) are so kiasu that they feel their education is ‘incomplete’ if they do not go overseas to study. There’s no need to spend so much on education since there are many good universities here with AUS/US/UK certifications, and those who have excellent results will likely be able to get a scholarship overseas anyway. No point getting into debt before you can even pay for it; might as well use the budget to buy some property to invest. 😉

  2. Hi Chialih,
    Nowadays, Education is getting commercialized, it is kind of marketing strategy to grow their business, ultimately, we should be more focusing on the real value of educating instead of comparing which University you are in, your education result is not equal to your working performance or promotion, in fact, it is totally wrong mindset if you think that way. no matter how good your result is or University, in the end, working performance is the main key focus from employer. my 2 cents.

  3. Unless the degree is laboratory-based e.g. Medicine and biotechnology etc, the rest are classroom-based, so need not spent so much in this IT age.
    Paper qualification is good only first impression in interviews. Thereafter it is work-performance.

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