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Private Tutoring Industry in China: Experiencing Explosive Growth

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In China’s highly competitive job market, a prestigious degree from top universities will generally lead Chinese into a better job. Bearing this in mind, many parents, no matter rich or poor, all wants to prepare their child for a brighter future. This created a huge window for the tutoring industry in China.

Increasing Number of Tutoring Academies in China

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for a Chinese child to go through tutoring classes three or four days in a week or whole days in the weekend. Let alone, many of them started tutoring from kindergarten. Due to the population and limited good education, China creates a highly competitive environment for school children when it comes to getting into high schools, universities and entering the job market.

Tutoring in ChinaA vast number of Chinese parent start after school tutoring from kindergarten or primary school. These classes typically vary from music, dance, sports, drawings, etc. for pre-school children and Chinese, Math and English for primary school children. This is due the saying that is popular among Chinese parents, “never let the kids lose at the starting line” (“不能让孩子输在起跑线上”), thus a vast number of parents enroll their child to a variety of tutoring classes to further broaden their curriculum and gain a “step ahead” than others.
A common class that Chinese parents enrolls their child in is Math Olympiad classes (奥数班). For instance, for a typical Shanghai key primary school like Shanghai Primary of Xuhui District (上海小学) or No1. Primary School Affiliated to Shanghai Normal University (上海一师附小), more than 50% of students takes Math Olympiad classes after school. Some questions are harder than intermediate school math. Some of the key schools include Math Olympiad questions as a bonus in tests and exams. Some of which most of the parents cannot do, thus enrolling their child into tutoring classes is their only option if they want to improve their child’s grades.

According to a survey targeting school-aged children’s parents, over 60% of the parent have or are going to enroll their child in a tutoring class. In China, tutoring is not only for children with low grades, Chinese parents are not fulfilled with the grades their child is achieving. Over 30% of the parents are enrolled in classes to help maintain and further improve their child’s high scores.

Many tutoring is in preparation for the “Big Test” for Chinese students to get in universities. Gaokao (高考), the biggest test in China. Every year, over 9 million Chinese students sit this examination in June. Nation’s first-tier universities such as Peking University or Tsinghua University will court students who perform well in this examination, the rest are located in second- and third-tier universities. For the 40% of students that fails, they can either retake the examination next year or enroll in less selective private institutions.

We find an increase in the number of English tutoring Academies in China, especially in larger cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Sending Children abroad to study in international high schools and Universities are more and more popular these days among the wealthier Chinese parents, thus, English is a must. Almost all international schools require a TOEFL (托福) or an IELTS (雅思) score upon entry. According to the Chinese Education Department, there are over 35 million Chinese students seeking international education and over 17 million are international students abroad. Among these, over 60% are studying in the U.S. As the trend of studying abroad increase, the demand for English tutoring such as TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, GREand university entry examinations such as SAT, IB, AP, CIE are expected to further increase.

Development Trends of the Tutoring Academy inside and outside China

Tutoring in ChinaBecause of the tutoring fever in China, the demand of tutoring academies dramatically increases over the last few years. More and more private institutions open academies in China. Well known academies such as New Oriental Education (新东方), Education First (英孚教育), Web International English (韦博国际英语) and more opened numerous academies all around China. The prices for classes are high and yet the demand is still large, many “star teacher” class (明星课程) are fully booked with a long list of the wait list.

As there is an increase in the number of international schools in China and the urge for Chinese parents to send their child to study abroad, Chinese parents are willing to send their child aboard to summer or winter camps to get a taste of life abroad. A common destination is the U.S, summer and winter camps in the U.S cost around ¥400,000 yuan for a three-week summer camp with flights included. Parents are willing to spend a lot for their child to get a taste of studying abroad in preparation of sending their child to study abroad later.

Many Chinese parents are learning that a good background of education will lead to a better job, thus, they want to provide the best they can for their child, especially when the one-child policy was still present as they only have one child and all their hope in counted on that particular child.

What Daxue has done in the Tutoring Industry

Daxue’s consultants have helped its client in the tutoring industry, designing, and implementing major changes to improve the client’s performance and strengthen its core capabilities in China. The goal of the study/research was to perform eye-tracking and online survey methodologies. The technique used for the eye-tracking consisted in the analysis of the visual path of each applicant across their computer or tablet screen. Therefore, Daxue’s consultants produced a final report giving precious information for the client’s strategic decision, using both the online survey and eye-tracking results to help the client tracking down the actual trends for the online tutoring.

Daxue Consulting has performed various studies within the education industry. The top 3 sectors where Daxue Consulting has worked with, are the language schools, exam preparation services such as the Toeic exam and the primary school tutoring programs. Daxue has supported its client in assessing the impact of their business in China’s market.