China Country Market
Insights and Opportunities
Education & Training Sector
Overview: Recent data indicates that U.S. colleges and universities remain the preferred overseas destination for Chinese students. Short-term training programs and workshops in specialized fields as well as business education are particularly sought after. U.S. educational organizations can also sell teaching materials and equipment, convey the latest methodologies and case studies lend or exchange faculty, and provide educational consulting services.
Opportunities: The U.S. footprint in China for educational services is dominated by U.S. universities, but other forms of training do well, in particular, management and English language training. Most firms actively outsource these training needs. As a result, one can easily find courses throughout the country on leadership, team building, and people management. English language schools are also prevalent and proving to be a lucrative business. However, a local presence is must and the market has a preference for instructors with Chinese language capabilities.
In 2008, 81,127 students chose the United States as their destination, compared to the mid-1980’s, when only 4,900 students enrolled overseas. The desire for Chinese students to enroll in U.S. institutions is high, fueled by increasing disposable incomes. Chinese professionals are attending vocational classes and using e-learning to upgrade their skills to increase their earning power. Many experts believe that e-learning is ideal for China because it solves much of China’s education needs. With its limited education resources, China can use long distance learning to educate its 200 million elementary and high school students. To that end, in October 2000 China’s Ministry of Education launched the “All Schools Connected” project, which will equip all of China’s 550,871 K-12 schools with e-learning systems by 2010.
The Ministry also encouraged 67 top universities to offer e-learning degrees to produce more talent for the country’s burgeoning economy. The nation’s very best high schools can also create Internet schools to train teachers and tutor students in far-flung regions. Private companies also heeded the e-learning call; many now offer vocational training and certification exam preparation online.