China is home to 38% of the international student market
In 2015, 547,578 Chinese students were enrolled in Western Universities. Three countries are leaders in international Chinese student recruitment: Canada, the UK, and the USA.
Many universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia are competing to get a piece of this lucrative business. Not only are they competing with universities in their country, but also with others around the globe.
Global competition is increasing and the winners will be the ones who can develop new strategies to recruit Chinese students, beyond the traditional network of education agents, fairs, and local partnerships.
Chinese students have a lot of choices and are choosing to be more selective. They do a lot of their research online, just like all students. You need to have a strong online presence in the PRC.
800 000 Chinese students have studied abroad, while the Chinese Ministry of Education, only has about half a billion.
US UK, Canada and Australia top education countries for Chinese Students
While the US and Australia are still the top destinations, research shows that Chinese students are now considering France and Germany as well. Chinese students aren’t afraid to pay high tuition fees, which is a great source of income for foreign universities. France is more popular for low level students explained a member of the Chinese business club. Chinese students abroad spend more than US$40 billion each year, which includes tuition and living expenses. Universities may need to be more visible to appeal to the Chinese student market. Research shows that 64% of Chinese students regard the quality of teaching as the most important factor in choosing a university.
Chinese students travel abroad because they either are not qualified for China’s top universities or are wealthy and want to get a better education elsewhere. It is therefore necessary to make mystery visits to China’s education agencies. This will help you verify that agents are not falsifying certificates and may also assist students in applying to universities.
A fascinating fact is that 70-80% of Chinese overseas students go back to China to continue their educations, settling in top cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong. David can think of many reasons why this might be. Culture, closeness to their families, difficulties in obtaining a visa, better career prospects in China, funding from government to attract talents, and the possibility of changing their ‘Hukou (which is the Chinese Household Registration System).
Tips for work with China Education Agencies
First, familiarize yourself with the work of Chinese educational consultancies and student recruitment agencies
- Agents help students determine a study abroad destination location i.e. If a destination or institution is not yet chosen, agents can help students determine the best location.
- Select the right university, college, institution or school for you.
- Apply for tuition programs or academic degrees. Short term programs; such as winter/summer camps, subject-specific training classes or other for-credit and non-credit programs, abroad.
- Assist them in the application process. Agents are chosen based on their reputation. Having the right partners can make all the difference in helping students find the best options.
understand these Chinese agents business .
a. Which types of Chinese students do you want to recruit?
b. What do the Chinese know already about your school?
Second – Finding the right match for agents
a. What are your expectations from an agent based on your needs?
Non-partnership is not effective collaboration. It takes time to grow and test, especially if the brand recognition in China has been low.
Identify the goals of your institution and communicate these with potential agents
Learn about your agents and what they are looking for from your relationship with them
Identify the current problems in your institution and decide if they should be addressed internally or by agents.
How to collaborate with Chinese Education Agents?
1) What motivates your agents to promote your university? What motivates your front-line staff members to promote your university’s name?
2) What have they done to keep their attention?
3) Why did each agent get chosen?
4) What is the combination of their coverage?
5) How do you select the right agents to represent your company in both recruiting and marketing?
6) Have your results been compared to other universities?
Do you need an office in China?
- Conduct interviews with students online
- Use agents
- Hold Recruitment Tours
- Regular training for counselors, agents, and consultants
- Use alumni or current students to reach out
The Best Advice for Educators Outside of China
- ONLINE : digital marketing
- Priority review of applications for prospective students
- Chinese-friendly school materials published
- Develop a consistent strategy to achieve your goals
- Keep in touch with the network.
- Visit China multiple times per year
- Find a local agent to represent your interests
How can you promote your online education business in China?
- Create a beautiful website in Chinese
Quality mandarin website is required for websites that are addressed to Chinese customers. A mandarin website will allow you to optimize your SEO for Baidu, China’s most popular search engine. Your website should be hosted on a Chinese server (.cn) to ensure a better SEO and quicker loading. It should be optimized for Mandarin characters searches.
As the majority of internet users in China use their smartphones to browse, all websites must be optimized for mobiles. China has 926 million smartphone owners. You can optimize mobile content for WeChat, China’s largest social network.
Because netizens are used to reading Mandarin, it is important that the website page contains content in Chinese.
- Your School’s Reputation is Important to Chinese Students & Parents.
China has 900 million online netizens. The digital world is embraced by the Chinese society with a passion that is rare in other countries. On average, users spend 3 hours per day surfing the internet and researching abroad education opportunities.
Building an e-reputation is the most important thing to do for your education business. A good e-reputation can bring you many clients with little effort. You must have a positive image of your education business on Chinese platforms if you want to make a Chinese user choose you over other competitors.
- Baidu SEO & SEA Rank Your School Website
E-reputation, as mentioned earlier, is key to success for your company. SEO can help you build a better reputation.
It is very effective to work on a SEO strategy. Baidu is China’s Google, which controls over 70% of the global search engine market. This platform is vital for ranking your school higher.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a strategy to rank a school’s website in search engines over time, is called Search Engine Optimization. These are the best places to find students’ potential. Baidu results will be extensively searched by parents based on keywords searches.
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