Australia is the most expensive place for an international student to attend university, ahead of Singapore and the United States, with India the cheapest, a study showed.
The research report by banking giant HSBC, which surveyed 15 countries, said an overseas student would need US$42,000 a year to meet university fees and living costs in Australia.
This was nearly US$3,000 more than Singapore, and US$36,000 greater than a student heading to India.
Despite the cost, the United States was regarded as offering the highest quality of education, followed by Britain and Germany with Australia only ranked fourth, said the study released late Wednesday.
"The key reasons to send children overseas are the acquisition of foreign languages, international experience, and independence," said HSBC's head of wealth management Simon Williams.
"But an international education brings an extra dimension of complexity to planning, particularly financial planning.
"The majority of overseas education is privately funded by parents, and while the concept of a college fund is well established in the US, it is still the exception elsewhere."
The report, The Value of Education, said that of the nearly 5,000 parents questioned, 89 percent wanted their children to go to university and 74 percent would consider sending them abroad.
Indonesians were keenest on an overseas education (89 percent), followed by Malaysia, Turkey and Hong Kong.
More than half of those questioned said that paying for a child's education was the best investment they could make, with many -- led by Malaysia and China -- wishing they had started saving sooner.
The study said Singaporeans were the most positive about the quality of their own education system, with three quarters rating it better than anywhere else.
However, just six percent of Brazilian and nine percent of French parents believe the quality of education is better at home than abroad.
Most expensive countries for international students: Australia, Singapore, United States, Britain, Hong Kong, Canada, France, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey, China, Mexico, India.