For foreign governments, the single-handed action
has become outdated in the education export sector.
This year, campaigns launched by foreign institutions
of higher learning to enroll Chinese students take on
one outstanding feature: They come in the form of government
representations. Thirteen national administrations appear
to organize exhibition delegations in the China Education
Expo 2005, which was concluded recently. This ensures
that all institutions attending the exposition are regular
colleges and universities, and it also gives play to
the advantages that the entirety has to offer, and underscores
the charm of national exhibition delegations.
The national exhibition delegations signify that the
foreign student industry is catching attention from
governments thanks to considerable foreign exchange
earnings. Meanwhile, the diversity of institutions attending
these education exhibitions indicates that this industry
is becoming mature in China. In particular, the participation
of financial institutions is of major significance to
interfacing education with capital.
According to data from UNESCO, China has quickly become
the world's largest source of students studying abroad.
At present, about 120,000 Chinese students go abroad
to pursue studies at their own expenses each year. Foreign
countries are making great efforts to attract Chinese
students. Chinese students studying abroad spend heavily
on foreign schools. These schools have found a source
of revenue that seems inexhaustible.
Among Chinese students studying abroad in recent years,
self-financed students account for an absolute majority;
the percentage has exceeded 90 percent. According to
a survey on Chinese students studying abroad, among
75,000 Chinese students and 15,000 visiting scholars
in the United States, only about 2,500 are funded by
the government, with the rest being self-financed students.
Among 80,000 Chinese students in Japan, more than 70,000
are self-financed; 35,000 of 40,000 Chinese students
in the U.K. are self-financed. In emerging hotspot countries
for foreigner students like New Zealand, among 17,000
Chinese students, government-funded students account
for less than one-thousandth.
Whether in terms of the total number or in terms of
the figures for specific countries, self-financed students
now account for a major percentage among Chinese students
abroad. This is a big market that no one affords to
Therefore, developed countries take education export
as a measure to stimulate economy; furthermore they
are coveting China's education market. Mr. Ke, who has
been dedicated to consulting of studying abroad for
nearly three years, describes the entire foreign student
industry, which ranges from training, tests, consulting
to fairs, until studying and living services, with "highly
profitable". "The chain extends from China
to other countries. The major links are becoming perfect,
with more and more derivative service offerings. The
business opportunities brought about by those who pursue
studies abroad for this industry are expanding".
It is learned that Australia's Department of Immigration
issue 20,000 student visas to people from Mainland China
each year, accounting for nearly 16 percent in the total
number of student visas it issues. China tops the list
of major sources of foreign students in Australia. Chinese
students yield a revenue of about AU$2 billion a year
for Australia. Currently, education ranks fourth among
Australia's top export industries to China, following
traditional resources like wool and minerals.
At present, foreign students take up more than 15 percent
among college students in the U.K. They generate a revenue
of some over US$2 billion a year, more than double the
total export value of coal, electricity and natural
gas each year. This, coupled with the daily expenditure
of foreign students, provides a staggering amount of
foreign exchange income for the country.
According to Zhang Zhixin, an expert in this industry
who just returned to China after conducting investigation
abroad, a large quantity of scholarships are launched
because of the increasingly fierce competition in the
China market. More and more countries and institutions
of higher learning are scrambling for students in the
China market. They tend to compete for greater market
shares by offering scholarships.
Recently, a host of new scholarships have been launched.
This, in experts' opinion, can be explained by the fact
that now foreign governments have found out that Chinese
wage-earners take up a major percentage in the foreign
education market. Scholarships attract these families
and help them achieve their goals. Therefore, they offer
scholarships and adopt other incentive policies to keep
stimulating and tapping this market.