Art Schools in China: more and more Chinese Art Students
Today, there are very few Art schools in China. Increasing numbers of Chinese students are leaving the country to study art abroad at university and college-level. Over the last five years, universities and colleges in the UK have seen an increase of 158% in Chinese students studying creative arts. Creative arts are the second most popular field of study for Chinese students studying abroad in the UK, second only to the field of business. For Chinese students studying in Australia, creative arts is the fourth most popular field of study, with Australia’s intake of Chinese art students growing by 85% between 2008 and 2012. There is significant demand for creative arts study programs in China, so why are Chinese arts students studying abroad? A significant factor is the lack of art schools teaching creative art courses in China.
Very few Art schools in China in spite of the rise of local market
Curator of the Times Museum in Guangzhou, Liang Jianhua, stated that besides the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) in Beijing, and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, there are very few art schools that teach contemporary art practice.
China has become the fastest growing contemporary art market in the world. Over the last decade, the art market in China has grown at a rapid pace year-on-year, and has now overtaken the United States to become the largest art market in the world in terms of revenue, accounting for 24% of world sales. Predictions of a growing economy and rising levels of individual income suggest a solid outlook for continued long-term growth in the market.
A real opportunity to attract Chinese art students abroad
Evidently, the rising demand for art in the Chinese market coupled with strong demand for art schools in China by Chinese students results in a number of opportunities for a foreign (or Chinese school) wishing to open an art school in China.
The China Academy of Art receives around 90,000 applicants a year, and enrolls around 1,400 of those applicants. In the first quarter of this year alone, almost 10,000 Chinese students applied to the Shangdong University of Art and Design, with less than 30% of those applicants being accepted. With only 31 good art and design schools in China, it is easy to understand why many Chinese art students make the decision to study at abroad in U.S., UK, and Australian tertiary education facilities. It is interesting to note that of the 19,000 students at the University of the Arts London, 30% of the student body is made up of Chinese students.
Tuition fees for Chinese students studying at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts – one of the most reputable art schools in China – enrolled in a four-year undergraduate bachelor degree costs 52,000RMB (US$8,387.23). To study at a U.S. or UK based academy with a similar reputation will cost a Chinese student an average of US$31,000 (192,262RMB). Considering the higher costs of tuition in western countries and the increasing numbers of Chinese students enrolling in universities in these countries, it is clear that there are ample opportunities for education facilities to take advantage of this growing market of students. Both Chinese and non-Chinese education institutions can seize these opportunities in China and establish new art schools in the country.
Opportunities for new Art schools in China
There is rising demand for students to gain skills and talents in the creative arts such as design, animation, game design, advertising and photography, and many education institutions outside of Chia are recognizing this. Increasing demand for good art schools in China from Chinese students combined with the lack of art and design schools available to them domestically results in the students seeking to study abroad – even when they are required to pay a lot more for tuition and living expenses. An art and design educational institution interested in expanding and opening a new school in China should consider the significant demand and opportunities this market provides. A new art and design school in China (operated either by a Chinese or non-Chinese education institution) will very quickly fill their seats with determined Chinese – and also international – art students.