The strengthening Ringgit Malaysia is not doing Malaysian parents with children in Australia any favor. Although the ringgit was at RM2.95 against US$1 recently, it stood at RM3.22 against A$1.
Teacher Carey Lee, 54, now had to fork out around RM20,000 more a year compared to 2009 when the exchange rate was 2.9. She said she might consider bringing her son back to Malaysia if he did not do well. Lee is paying around RM100,000 a year for his studies there.
Banker David Chan, 54, said there was little Malaysian parents could do. “It's painful that things cost the same on a dollar-to-dollar basis. For example, a plate of noodles costing RM5 is also A$5 there. That's RM16 after conversion,” he said, adding that his son still had four years to go in Adelaide.
Accountant Thomas Wong said he was amazed that the Australian economy was still strong despite the massive floods and fires there. He said his son's school fees had jumped from RM28,000 per term to RM32,000 in the 18 months he was there.
Writer P. Steven, 43, said his burden was eased slightly after his daughter got a partial scholarship this year. “She also moved out of the campus residence to a house. That's cheaper. She also uses a bicycle to get to campus,” he said, adding that the exchange rate was a continuous worry.
It was reported last month that there are some 23,000 Malaysian students in Australia.
With the sky-high tuition fees and expenses because of currency exchange, I was wondering why many parents still sending their children to Australia as there are already so many Universities and colleges in Malaysia itself.
If quality is the major concern, perhaps it is very true. I would also rather send my children to Australia or United Kingdom if I'm afford to do so. But I'm not afford to, and money value we are earning is getting smaller and smaller.
With limited income, high inflation and started to invest late, it's really no point to force myself to bear for the sky-high children oversea education fund while taking care of my retirement fund. To me, I would support local study, it's not the same quality but at least it is affordable.
Ultimately, the career success and earn money are not all about quality, but it's rely on individual effort.
All the best, parents.