Chinese Students

Education in China – What Drives the Choices of Chinese Students?

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What are the most important requirements for Chinese students when picking a university?

Chinese studying abroadBased on the report provided by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, 64% of Chinese students consider the quality of teaching to be the most important element when choosing a university. They value practical approaches, and they perceive educational quality as being associated with the ability of a university to provide them with an innovative mindset towards the business world and new technologies. The second biggest concern is employability, with 52% of students considering that a degree is no longer a guarantee of a successful career. Many employers are targeting universities that are continuing to develop and innovate; that create graduates with the knowledge and skills that are suitable to their needs. 72% of students think that the main benefit of studying abroad is the high quality of the education, which will help them gain a competitive advantage when returning to the Chinese market.

What are the disadvantages of the Chinese higher education system?

One of the reasons why China does not have first-class universities is that higher educational system is not providing them with enough freedom. Local colleges lack academic and moral essence. ‘’The university spirit in China is really lost. It’s a reflection of the whole society, which has got lost in utilitarianism. It’s in a state of spiritual dehydration.’’ says Yang Yuliang, the chancellor at Fudan University. Chinese universities are weak on academic spirit because the majority of tutors are mostly focused on how to pass exams, rather than the academic research.

Why do Chinese students prefer to study abroad?

China is considered the biggest student exporter in the world, with over 500.000 Chinese millennials studying abroad in 2015. Usually, Chinese families have a strong influence on their kids’ education choice. A recent poll executed by 51job.com presented that parents prefer to send their children abroad for a degree. “Of the 607 parents who took part in the survey, 76.8% responded that they plan to send their children to study overseas even if the cost of tuition and living expenses may reach 1 million yuan (US $163,111).”Having a diploma from a reputable overseas institution is considered to lead to a better job and salary. According to the Chinese economics magazine Caixin, the students who are returning to China with a foreign bachelor degree earn almost 5,000 yuan per month, which is nearly double to the average starting salary of a Chinese graduate that represents around 2,443 yuan. Among the most popular locations, Chinese students choose for their degree are United States, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada. According to Daxue Consulting research team, Chinese international students spend over US$40 billion overseas every year, including tuition and living expenses.

Will the national universities with global standards cut the need to go overseas?

China’s higher education system got a big boost since the top 100 of annual Asia Universities Rankings included 18 mainland Chinese schools, a 20% increase from last year. As reported by Daxue Consulting, the increase in teaching quality of national universities will indeed cut the need to go overseas, but this process is very time-consuming and challenging. Until this occurs, Chinese millennials will continue to look abroad.

As a result of a fast economic development, education is becoming more and more important in China. Our client was interested in entering the Chinese market with its educational offer.  Daxue Consulting created an overview of the structure and the limitation of the Chinese school system, setting a five years plan for further development of the client’s initiative.

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