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ChinaTrend: Insights into the Higher Education market in China


ChinaTrend provides some insight into the trends and future opportunities for American universities. Postings will highlight news coverage and provide background and insight to the future of the Chinese higher education, both from the domestic and international perspective.


2012 Mississippi Association of International Education/StudyMississippi Conference Session
- Online activities of teenagers and how it influences school choice (Thursday 2/23
Session#: 4A | Time: 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Location: Ballroom B)

Abstract: While Chinese students will study in English, they communicate at home in their native language. Today they are likely to use Baidu as their search engine, QQ as their social media site and Sina as their information portal all with search terms, activity postings and conversation done in their native Chinese language. These sites are very fluid and competitive creating a challenge for advertisers and marketers, especially those outside China. This session will give insight to the mindset of the one of the Internet's latest frontiers, Chinese teenagers and how they think about higher education.

Download the presentation here Online activities of teenagers and how it influences school choice

Presenter: Mark Shay
Organization: EduGlobal China


- Twice as many college students in China as in the US? (Washington Post, February 12, 2012)
There are now 630 private universities in China. Enrollment has soared to a fifth of all Chinese college students.  "In the late 1990s, fewer than 10 percent of Chinese age 18 to 22 were enrolled in higher education, according to government data. Now the figure is about 27 percent — or 30 million students — and the government hopes to reach 40 percent by 2020. If China is successful, it will have more than 40 million students in college. That would be roughly double the projected total for the United States."

Takeaway:Such a surge in enrollment presents a big opportunity for schools and businesses that serve schools.  There is a huge demand for educational services in China and unique to most countries, a means to pay for it.  Private school operators will be looking to the west for best practices, not only in the classroom, but in administration and management.  Should be a good opportunity for some of the professional associations and large service vendors to stake a claim.

>  QS World Grad School Tour 
- 350 universities, 34 countries, 56 cities

The QS World Grad School Tour is a prestigious series of half-day graduate education fairs created especially for institutions worldwide who wish to recruit international students for Masters and PhD programs in all disciplines.  Book single or multiple cities according to your strategic goals. - QS World Grad School Tour


- More Evidence of a Growing Interest in Liberal Arts Education in China (The Chronicle of Higher Education - Feb. 5, 2011)
As the Chinese economy advances, wages and the aspirations of Chinese workers are growing.  Businesses in China are seeking workers with creative talent to help these firms be more competitive and innovative.  A growing knowledge economy needs a creative workforce and there is a growing sense that a Liberal Arts curriculum will have great value.  Chinese students have done really well in tests, but there is concern for what the Chronicle identifies as "gaofen dineng" the undesirable situation of "high scores with low ability."

Takeaway: Liberal Arts will is poised to flourish in the elite circles of China.  In the short term this will result in increased interest in elite US Liberal Arts programs.  In the longer term, look for elite Liberal Arts colleges to grow within China, trying to limit this brain drain.  There will be as Karin Fischer states in the audio interview, a rise in "East meets West Great Books" as the great works to study.


Counseling Services for Stressed-Out Students (The Chronicle of Higher Education - Dec. 4, 2011)
Increased use of student counseling is yet another sign that mental health and wellness are a growing concerns in China. As students become confortable using counseling, they will fuel a demand for certified and trained counselors which in turn establish a growth market in advanced degrees in professional counseling, mental health therapy, school psychology and counseling psychology programs.

Takeaway: Masters degrees in Professional Psychology and Counseling will be popular with Chinese students.


Selecting the Right Chinese Students (The Chronicle of Higher Education - Nov. 3, 2011)
Admissions essays and personal statements are too often the work of professionals, not the students. The subjective admissions processes of American universities are prey to abuse in a market that is dominated by ambitious parents focused on getting their child at the head of the pack. This commentary has some interesting insight and be sure to read the subscriber comments!

With the present surge in Chinese students, schools should be concerned about finding the right fit. Another Chronicle article talked about the classroom impact of a large number of Chinese students have had on schools. It has the potential to change the atmosphere on campus and if not managed well, impact the engagement of other students.

Takeaway:Interviews are still key, if you can’t do face-to-face, at least use Skype, but be aware of hired actors posing as prospective student in interviews.


Public Schools Recruit Tuition-Paying International Students To Boost Revenue (Huffington Post - April 2011 )
Millinocket, Maine Joins public school districts in public school districts in Virginia Beach, Va.; Tacoma, Wash.; Lavaca, Ark.; Chicago; and Hopkinton and Arlington, Mass. in recruiting high school students from China as a way to generate revenue.  Private high schools, especially boarding schools have recruited foreign students for years, but more public schools are looking to China for students

High school study abroad with a local home stay has become commonplace in Canada and Australia.   Ottawa is reported to have 480 foreign students in its public schools - 


Chinese Helicopter Parents (Zinch white paper #4)
And you thought US "helicopter" parents were tough, here is a quote from Zinch white paper #4 "From an American point of view, the Chinese parent is absurdly over-involved.  From the Chinese perspective, the American parent is dangerously irresponsible."

Read this very insightful account called   Busted: The top 5 ways that Chinese students cheat on their undergraduate applications to American schools (and what schools can do about it)

Takeaway:It's very important to not just rely on documents. Getting to know your prospective Chinese students will help you determine whether they fit into your campus community.


Chinese Universities Embrace a Global Outlook by Turning to the Liberal Arts (Inside HigherEd - Jan. 28, 2011)
Kenyon S. Chan, the chancellor of the University of Washington at Bothell, says it is time for Americans to broaden their conception of what is going on in Chinese higher education. Programs like the one at Sun Yat-sen University “signal a desire to be a creative and innovative force in the world" -- and to provide the kind of higher education that Americans have assumed they were unique in offering. Those who go to Chinese universities today, Chan said, will see that "it's not just a bunch of nerds over there doing science and technology."

Takeaway:As the Liberal Arts curriculum starts to take hold in China price becomes a key differentiator. Mid-tier American Liberal Arts colleges will need to sharpen their marketing efforts to justify the large price differential or perhaps work in partnership with these new Chinese Liberal Arts Colleges


A True Liberal Arts Education (Bowdoin College - Oct. 2009)
Now in its second printing, the Chinese language book "A True Liberal Arts Education" is helping change stereotypes of why a well-rounded higher education experience should be considered.

It's an old story, but a couple of years later it is having lasting impact. There is a shift in thinking about rankings, at least to consider ranked Liberal Arts Colleges. Some of the leading American Liberal Arts schools are putting efforts to reach students in China with the China Liberal Arts College Tour

Takeaway: China is recognizing that “elite” spans multiple categories of American higher education. US News changed the category to National Liberal Arts Colleges to give it more clout. Short term, it should put more pressure on schools to rank high in order to succeed in drawing Chinese students.

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Mark Shay

The driving force behind InternetCarbon is Mark Shay, a serial entrepreneur who has created, built and in several cases sold Internet-based and educationally related businesses. Read more for just a sampling of enterprises Shay brought to life...

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