A global survey published by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has found that British and French parents are the least likely to save for university costs to facilitate their children’s higher education.

Justina Crabtree, reporting for CNBC, says the report discovered that 46% of mothers and fathers in the UK and 43% of those in France have saved, and both of these figures are below the global average of 67%.

But 90% of Indonesian and 87% of Indian moms and dads are saving toward their youngsters’ higher education, while only 39% of parents in Mexico were likely to have an education nest egg.

HSBC’s poll generated answers from over 6,400 participants in 15 countries and territories across the globe and was administered mostly online by Ipsos MORI, the second largest market research organization in the United Kingdom.

The results showed that 77% of British parents are currently funding their children’s education by using their regular income. 59% of the total said this method makes it burdensome to pay other necessary expenses.

Almost half of parents globally stated they would take on debt for their children’s university education. The number increased to 57% of those considering post-graduate studies in another country for their young ones.

For those taking on the cost of post-graduate study, 43% of UK mothers and fathers said they would support their children’s studies, while Australian moms and dads came in at 38%.

For families wanting their children to study abroad, the US was the most popular location to send their children to university, with 43% of participants rating America as one of their top three choices from a list of 50 countries.

The UK came in as the second most popular choice, Australia was third, and Canada came in fourth. Three of these countries — the US, Canada, and the UK — are the most expensive countries worldwide in which to study.

The report, entitled “The Value of Education: Foundations for the Future,” exposed that nearly half of parents consider funding their children’s education is more of a priority than saving for their retirement. Over 40% admitted they would go into debt to finance their kids’ university education, according to Brittany Vonow of The Sun.

HSBC’s Group Head of Wealth Management Charlie Nunn said:

“The report reveals that parents have high expectations for their children’s higher education and future careers, and that they take on most of the funding responsibility.

“It is therefore important for parents to be realistic about the costs associated with these high ambitions, and to plan early to make sure they are well placed to support their children’s studies without compromising any of their own long-term financial goals.”

The average amount that British parents are spending to help their college-aged children is $5,647 USD annually. UAE moms and dads are contributing $15,789 a year, Hong Kong $13,916, and Singapore $13,435. Many parents acknowledged that they also chipped in to buy their children’s food, household fees, computer equipment, and to cover other fees.

Mark Dorman, writing for Yahoo!, says a university education for students in the UK costs annually as much as $25,503, in the US $28,563, and in Canada $26,245, though the numbers change amongst private and public providers.