William Vanberge of BE Education was interviewed (also see: Some Chinese Students Stay Home to Get Ahead) by the Wall Street Journal’s Wei Gu about why Chinese students are more willing to stay in China to study instead of studying abroad.
Vanberge began by noting that despite a huge emerging middle class, the rate of growth in Chinese students studying abroad is expected to decline as more education options become available at home that are half the price of an international education. After all and if there is a good alternative at home, not many Chinese parents will are willing to send their children to study abroad half way around the world. However, super wealthy Chinese will still want to send their children to a top international school given the brand recognition such an education comes with.
It was then noted that New York University (NYU) is opening its first campus in Shanghai this fall while other schools like Duke and Juilliard are following suit soon. However, Vanberge commented that the University of Nottingham’s China presence is still not profitable, but having a worldwide network to facilitate study abroad activities and extend the professional networks of all students could compensate for any lack of profits over the short term.
Vanberge also commented that with 6 million Chinese students graduating every year and only 4 million able to find a job, studying abroad will always make a Chinese job candidate more attractive as it forces one to become more independent. Moreover, challenging and discussing ideas are the bedrock of an international education and are qualities that are increasingly important as the service and creative industries start to play bigger roles in the Chinese economy.