Are you looking to boost your school’s international student population and tap into the lucrative Chinese education market? Look no further! In this ultimate guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of Chinese student recruitment for your institution in the upcoming years.
With our comprehensive information on China’s education landscape, cultural insights, social media strategies, and crucial recruitment channels tailored specifically for this audience, you’ll be well-equipped to attract the brightest minds from the world’s most populous country.
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Key Facts About Chinese International Students
In 2022, a new record has been set for Chinese students studying at universities abroad, as reported by ICEF Monitor. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of students studying abroad has doubled from 2018 to 2021, with 1.06 million students enrolled in international universities and an additional 200,000 students participating in exchange programs.
This surge can be attributed to a growing number of Chinese parents with high disposable incomes and approximately 40 million students in higher education seeking opportunities outside of China. As a result, China has become the largest study-abroad market in the world, providing numerous advantages to overseas schools and institutions.
Education spending in Chinese families is expected to continue increasing in the years ahead, with experts predicting that China will allocate 12.5% of its overall consumption growth to education for individuals under the age of 30 between 2015 and 2030. This is the highest percentage among all countries worldwide.
As the graduating class in 2025 will set a record, with over 110.00 students in China looking for university enrollment, it’s right about time to think and start acting to best recruit students in the upcoming years. Let’s take a look at the most important facts to know about.
Most Popular Countries Of Destination
Over the past few decades, Chinese international students have consistently chosen to pursue their education in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada due to various factors such as the quality of education offered and opportunities for career advancement.
For instance, a big number of Chinese students often find themselves attracted to American higher education institutions because they offer cutting-edge research facilities across diverse fields of study.
Similarly, colleges and universities in the UK provide a unique blend of time-honored academic traditions with innovative teaching methods that appeal to aspiring learners from China.
Moreover, both Australia and Canada boast welcoming immigration policies with provisions for work permits and visa offerings upon graduation which make them attractive options for student enrollment too.
Diverse Fields Of Study: Preference For Certain Disciplines
Chinese international students exhibit a strong preference for specific fields of study when deciding on their educational pursuits abroad.
For instance, many young Chinese opt to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects due to their globally recognized credentials and promising career prospects.
Business-related programs like finance or management are also popular choices because they offer opportunities to gain valuable expertise that can lead to lucrative job positions back home.
To effectively recruit Chinese international students for education abroad, understanding these discipline preferences will be crucial. By showcasing standout programs in online marketing, webinars, or offline education fairs, aligned with Chinese students’ interests – such as cutting-edge STEM facilities or accredited business courses – your institution can attract a larger share of high school students in China.
Chinese Currently Poor Job Market An Incentive To Go Abroad
The current job market in China is experiencing a downturn, driving many ambitious Chinese students to seek international education as a means to improve their career prospects.
This trend of seeking higher education overseas has been further fueled by China’s increasingly open government policies towards international study. Aspiring young professionals are now realizing the importance of global exposure and access to reputable institutions in shaping their careers.
For example, being part of an Ivy League school or renowned European university not only boosts one’s resume but also demonstrates adaptability and resilience – qualities highly sought after by employers worldwide.
High Academic Expectations And The Infamous Gaokao (高考)
As a Chinese international student, the pressure to succeed academically is immense, largely due to the infamous Gaokao (高考). This high-stakes competitive exam has significant power over their lives and sets the course for their future.
From birth, Chinese students start preparing for this grueling exam, which can be a race towards success or failure. The academic expectations associated with the Gaokao are incredibly high, and achieving good scores means unlocking better opportunities in higher education and career prospects.
Importance Of Family In The Decision Process
Family plays a crucial role as it often has a strong say in their children’s education and career paths. The family’s financial situation and educational background can greatly impact a student’s decision to study abroad.
For example, if a family is struggling financially, they may not be able to fund their child’s international education. Even though they want to help Chinese students succeed, they often can’t afford to send their kids abroad.
To successfully reach Chinese students, you must take into account this familial influence on their decisions. Schools should develop effective strategies and best practices that cater both to students’ needs as well as those of their families.
Building relationships with parents through communication channels such as WeChat can go a long way in winning over potential students. Additionally, highlighting support services for homesickness and cultural transition can also help assuage parents’ concerns about sending their children abroad alone.
A Different Cultural Lens
As the Chinese education system differs greatly from that of other countries, it is important to approach recruitment efforts with a different cultural lens. For instance, in China, family plays a crucial role in decision-making when it comes to choosing a school or major.
Therefore, showcasing testimonials and success stories from Chinese students who have attended your institution can be a powerful tool for attracting new applicants. It’s also essential to understand the subtlety of communication styles and cultural customs which may differ drastically between China and Western cultures.
Having staff members who are fluent in both English and Mandarin can help bridge this gap and make Chinese students feel more comfortable on campus.
How Did COVID-19 Affected Chinese International Students?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Chinese international students. With travel restrictions and canceled classes, many have been forced to carefully consider whether studying abroad is still the best option for them.
Many Chinese students have faced discrimination and racism due to the virus’s origins in China, leading to increased isolation and homesickness. These challenges are an opportunity for schools to showcase their ability to provide support networks and cross-cultural experiences that can alleviate these difficulties.
What You Need To Succeed In Recruiting a Chinese Student
To recruit Chinese international students, you need a Chinese website or content in Chinese on your existing site, leverage bilingual content, have a social media presence to attract and engage with them, manage your online reputation through student testimonials and success stories, and identify potential alliance opportunities with Chinese educational institutions or agents.
A Chinese Website, Or Content In Chinese On The Existing One
To successfully recruit Chinese students, it is essential to have a Chinese website or content in Chinese on the existing site. Here are some key considerations:
- A Chinese website should be designed with a focus on user experience, taking into account unique cultural expectations and preferences.
- A localized website increases the chances of appearing in search results on popular Chinese search engines such as Baidu.
- Providing content in Mandarin ensures that potential students can understand the information provided and increases their interest in your school.
- Offering bilingual content (i.e., English and Mandarin) enhances brand visibility and ensures that non-Chinese speakers also have access to relevant information.
- Utilizing social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo can also reach potential students where they are spending their time online.
Overall, investing resources in creating a localized website or providing content in Mandarin on the existing site will increase your school’s visibility, improve communication with current Chinese students and prospective Chinese international students, and help differentiate you from competitors.
Bilingual Content To Enhance Brand Visibility
Providing native translations for the landing pages is critical in tailoring your marketing to students who speak Mandarin or Cantonese as their primary language. This multilingual content should be readily available so that it’s easy to navigate and understand for prospective Chinese students seeking information about admissions requirements, tuition fees, scholarship availability, and campus life.
For instance, one anecdote worth considering is La Rochelle Business School’s establishment of a WeChat channel specifically targeting their diverse community of incoming Filipino-International freshmen using both English & Tagalog posts.
This act proved successful for them by attracting more Filipino applicants than in previous years while simultaneously fostering a sense of inclusion within the greater Asian community at large.
Social Media Presence As A Launchpad To Attract Chinese Students
In today’s globalized world, it is essential to communicate with potential candidates through platforms they use and are familiar with. China’s top social media platform, WeChat, has over a billion active users and is widely used by Chinese students for communication and information gathering.
To further enhance brand visibility to reach students in China, bilingual content can be leveraged. Education institutions must have a website or create specific content in the simplified form of the Chinese language on their existing website.
Utilizing student testimonials and success stories also plays an important role in reputation management in the Chinese market when recruiting international students from China.
Online Reputation – Branding Your School
In today’s digital age, potential students will likely research a school before making a decision on where to study.
To successfully manage your online reputation, you must create and maintain a strong brand identity for your institution to recruit students from China. This includes showcasing your unique selling points through relevant content across all platforms, including social media, blogs, and websites written both in English and Chinese languages.
Student Testimonials And Success Stories For Reputation Management
By leveraging student testimonials and success stories, you can build a strong reputation for your school within the Chinese community.
These stories give prospective students an insight into what life is like at your school and how previous graduates have benefited from their education. Enriched experiences such as cultural immersion, internships, and study abroad opportunities are compelling selling points that should be emphasized when sharing these stories.
Furthermore, using real-life examples helps create an emotional connection with prospective students while building trust in your brand.
For example, La Rochelle Business School created several videos featuring their successful Chinese alumni discussing their experiences during their studies; this content was then shared on social media platforms like Weibo (a popular Chinese social media platform).
Alliance Opportunities With Chinese Educational Institutions Or Agents
Building alliances with Chinese institutions or agents for Chinese student enrollment is a key factor in successfully recruiting Chinese international students to international institutions. Education agents in China provide specialized services to students, such as language translation and assistance with the application process, making them an effective way to expand international student recruitment efforts.
For example, La Rochelle Business School in France partnered with several top-ranked Chinese universities to offer dual degree programs. This collaboration helped identify potential candidates for study abroad opportunities and ensured that students received both French and Chinese degrees upon completion of their studies.
Chinese Student Recruitment: GMA Case Studies
Discover how Accademia Del Lusso, MEL Science, La Rochelle Business School, and Ecole de Management de Normandie Business School effectively recruited Chinese international students and learn from their success stories.
Accademia Del Lusso
Accademia Del Lusso offers various courses for the academic year 2023-24 with eligibility criteria and scholarships for potential Chinese students. Their academic programs cater to diverse fields of study, including Fashion Design, Luxury Brand Management, and Interior Design.
The school understands the value that Chinese students bring as they are typically well-prepared academically while also possessing a broad global outlook. As such, they have established a robust recruitment process for Chinese international students while providing them with language support services and other resources to help them acclimate to their new environment successfully.
MEL Science decided to leverage social media platforms to start attracting Chinese students and their parents. For them, we worked on Weibo, Douyin, and RED marketing strategies, offering testimonials and interesting content on the platforms that a big number of students in China use every day for entertainment.
We also focused on user-generated content and public relations and branding on Baidu, with the additional of the Taobao Store, to have an overall strategy for parents and students in the Chinese market.
La Rochelle Business School
As an internationally recognized business school, La Rochelle Business School has been able to successfully attract Chinese international students through effective marketing strategies.
One such strategy is their partnership with the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which has allowed them to showcase their program offerings and academic excellence to prospective Chinese students.
Additionally, La Rochelle Business School has leveraged social media and bilingual content to increase its visibility in the Chinese student market. Their success can be seen through GMA case studies where they have effectively recruited talented and diverse groups of Chinese students for the 2023 academic year.
Ecole de Management de Normandie Business School
Ecole de Management de Normandie was starting from scratch, so for them, we developed a Chinese website to cater to the needs of students interested in learning about the school. The website was optimized for Baidu SEO with the addition of Baidu advertising.
We also focused on testimonials and user-generated content as well as branding and online reputation, with the addition of WeChat marketing, to best communicate with students in China interested in the university, as well as Chinese students studying abroad.
It’s Your Turn to Successfully Recruit Chinese Students!
Recruiting Chinese international students to your school requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it’s essential for schools to tap into this growing market.
By understanding the key facts about Chinese students’ preferences, the challenges they face abroad, and effective recruitment strategies, you’re on the right path toward success.
Remember to leverage bilingual content on your website, establish a strong online reputation through branding and positive testimonials from current students, and identify potential partnership opportunities with Chinese educational institutions or agents.
We are a China-based marketing agency with over 10 years of experience in the Chinese market. Over the years, our team of Chinese and foreign experts helped many international schools in China to attract students to their faculties.
We offer many cost-effective services, based on your needs, budget, and schools’ profile, such as:
It’s your time to start attracting Chinese students to your school! Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us, so that we can schedule a free consultation and provide you with the best solutions for your China strategy.