Last week we introduced a different perspective on strategies for international student recruitment, using the criteria of language. Our series of tips and tricks on how to recruit international students speaking the same mother tongue covers the four most widely spoken languages in the world today – English, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic.
We shared with you what we think are the most common approaches and tactics for attracting English-speaking students. Now, it is time now to put the spotlight on Chinese!
Research paper “Understanding Student Recruitment in Mainland China: A Case Study” states that economic growth in China has changed the face of local education as well. Policies have become more welcoming and the quality of education in local institutions is constantly improving. Even universities from the Western hemisphere have started opening campuses in mainland China. All these factors lead to a new trend with local students: completing their tertiary education within the region.
Students choose universities closer to home because local institutions can now fulfil their high expectations. They seem to feel that local universities might be safer, and cultural familiarity plays a major role for this perception. Not to mention lower overall costs and local policies that are increasingly in line with good practices in internationally competitive education.
When making the choice to study abroad, Chinese students and their parents usually consider factors such as employment prospects, social and emotional support programs, local migration climate, language and academic support services, opportunities for learning English, etc.
If the student choses to study within the region, most of these worries go away.
So, which factors raised the value of international education within the China region for Chinese students?
The paper discusses the case study of Hong Kong University.
“Opening doors“: Chinese students usually take into consideration multiple options, and commit to continuing education later on in their lives. Therefore, a university that is able to “open doors” to other opportunities in the future is highly valued. For instance, Hong Kong University is an English-speaking university. This opens doors for alumni to continue their education with postgraduate studies at institutions in English-speaking countries.
“Return ticket programmes” in China: Students who choose to return to work in China after graduation overseas are getting tax incentives as well as better employability prospects. This kind of policy shows remarkable results. The current return rate of Chinese students after postgraduate studies is nearly 80%. An impressive number of well-educated Chinese scholars have returned to local institutions, transferring their knowledge to local students.
Bonding scholarship scheme in Singapore: Local companies offer to cover tuition and other expenses for students who agree to work for them upon completion of studies. The duration of employment is agreed upon in advance. This is a very safe and attractive way to obtain education and start working right after graduation. Of course, this model has its drawbacks, because it effectively limits students’ mobility. They cannot choose to relocate before their contract ends.
What are your strategies for attracting Chinese-speaking students? Do you think that the factors which boosted the value of Chinese intraregional mobility are valid on a global scale? Start a discussion in the comments!