Market opportunities in China. Summary of market research on China for the VET sector

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1 Market opportunities in China Summary of market research on China for the VET sector

2 Targeted cities in China Seven locations (eight cities) have been selected as the main targets for the promotion of New Zealand education in China: City tiers Tier 1 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou Tier 2 cities: Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Chengdu/Chongqing Regions North: Beijing, Qingdao East: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing South: Guangzhou West: Chengdu/Chongqing Figure 1. The VET market in China Onshore demand China is in a transitional period of upgrading many of its industries, with a focus on vocational training for modern services and high-end technician training. Modern services training fields (high degree of marketisation) High-end technician training fields (high degree of government participation) Industry specific Functional Banking, financial Marketing Machinery manufacturing services and insurance Information technology Research and Auto manufacturing development Media Food and agriculture Biomedicine Hospitality Trade Electronic information 1

3 Logistics Management New energy resources Service outsourcing New materials Currently the most popular VET fields in China include: Information technology Finance Graphic design Construction engineering Management Technician training there is currently a shortage of technician training in modern manufacturing related fields. In recent years the salary levels of skilled workers in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta has surpassed that of college graduates. Figure 2 The Chinese government is also investing in the development of cultural and creative industries increasing the potential for training opportunities in these areas: Animation and gaming Advertisement design Architectural design. Vocational students are inherently employment-oriented and they desire a recognised qualification or skill certification in addition to gaining a professional skill. Vocational schools or training institutions have been cooperating with enterprises in a variety of ways to offer students more employment opportunities. Training institutions, schools, employers and government bodies are playing different roles in the development of vocational training, closely cooperating with each other: 2

4 Vocational training is also becoming increasingly connected with degree-oriented education Skills training Internship training Professional certification Technician training schools Secondary vocational schools Higher vocational schools Junior college education Offshore demand Students who choose to enrol in vocational education often cannot afford to study abroad. Those who do choose to study VET offshore often intend to immigrate. Chinese students cite to enhance employment competitiveness as the most important reason to pursue VET abroad. Over 60 per cent of VET applicants have several years work experience. These applicants can be inclined to seek post-study immigration options. Competition With roughly 10,000 training institutions across the country, competition in VET is intense. Overseas competitors are already strongly engaged in fields that are popular in China; the United States is very involved in management training and India has a high profile in the IT training market. 3

5 Strategy for New Zealand in the Chinese market Opportunities The VET market in China is promising but competition is very intense. There are opportunities in curriculum development and consultancy services in fields that New Zealand has distinctive advantages in. Leverage New Zealand s advantages It is important for New Zealand providers to have an understanding of the future employment trends in China. New Zealand should position itself to take advantage of opportunities arising from future demand in areas where New Zealand has specific advantages. New Zealand is seen by China to provide a more mature system of professional certification and assessment, providing students with professional skills with international features. The research recommends New Zealand participate in the following VET areas in China: Cultural creative industry Tourism Animation/games Tourism management Media Hospitality management Advertising Transportation Visual arts Food service industry Health care Medicine Nursing Nutrition Medical devices High-class blue collar workers Computer numerical control Charting Market entry The research recommends that New Zealand providers: Cooperate extensively with Chinese partners especially in advantageous fields Increase awareness of the New Zealand VET sector through cooperation and demonstrating the links between training and employment Highlight the relevance between VET and immigration, and VET and undergraduate education Begin further market research in target markets to fully understand emerging trends Develop special features of their programmes in advantageous/niche areas. Target markets The research suggests that New Zealand should promote its vocational education in tier two and tier three cities within the following economic zones: Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone Pearl River Delta Economic Zone 4

6 Western Economic Zone. Governments of the above zones have urgent needs for industrial development and demonstrate strong financial support for vocational education. Vocational training has strong connections with the development of local industries. Therefore the training of skilled talents has high potential for growth in tier two cities which have entered a period of economic growth. The promotion of vocational education should be associated with local industry development and the demand of the job market. New Zealand providers should promote different fields of vocational education according to the industrial features and development plans of different regions. For example: Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone: promote vocational education of cultural creativity and tourism Western Economic Zone: promote vocational education of high-class blue collar workers Pearl River Delta Economic Zone: promote vocational education of cultural creativity and the health care industry. Further information New Zealand international education providers can request a full copy of this research report by contacting ENZ s Business Development Team. Phone:

7 Appendix 1 Promotion channels are diversifying Channels used by foreign providers in China are continuing to diversify. Study tours, social media, alumni and industry networks are increasingly complementing the more traditional channels of education agents, education fairs and mainstream media. Popular promotion channels: Promotion events: education fairs, study tours and showcases Education agencies: overseas study agencies, education associations, education institutions Traditional media: newspapers, television, broadcast New media: internet and mobile Interpersonal networks: alumni and industry associations. How do Chinese students obtain information on studying abroad? 1. Education agencies / organisations 2. Current school 3. Domestic websites of education institutions and study abroad organisations 4. Websites of overseas schools 5. Promotion events of overseas schools 6. Recommendations from relatives and friends 7. Recommendations from teachers Education agents Education agents remain the most important players in China s international education market. While the number of students completing their own international applications is increasing, and individual schools and universities are increasingly influencing study abroad decisions, agencies remain the most popular source for Chinese applicants to obtain the latest international education information. Agencies are increasingly providing a one-stop-service to clients, including providing or offering: career advice study tours to other countries during summer and winter breaks training courses to help students meet language and academic requirements services to support students daily life overseas, including through overseas representative offices. The China Ministry of Education has registered 448 education agencies (as at August 2012), though the number of unregistered agencies is believed to be over ten times as large as the registered number. Aoji, JJL, EIC, Shinyway and Vision Overseas/New Oriental are among the largest education agencies. 6

8 Promotional events Education exhibitions, study tours and study showcases are popular ways to promote international education options to students and parents. Education fairs Education fairs remain the most common way of promoting international education. The number of fairs is proliferating across Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, organised by government, local governments and companies. However both overseas institutions and students are questioning the effectiveness of the fairs. Institutions are concerned about the value of the events given both cost and time commitments. Attending students and parents report receiving an oversupply of non-material information. Key fairs: International education exhibition tour organised by the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange covers Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hefei, Xi an, Fuzhou and Shenyang. China education expo organised by China Education Association for International Exchange covers Beijing, Shanghai, Xi an, Chengdu and Wuhan. EIC Education Fair organised by EIC, The World s Elite Advisory Fair organised by IDP and Overseas Examination and Study Fair organised by Shinyway are some of China s leading commercial fairs, covering up to 25 main centres. Institution seminars Institutional seminars (also known as discussion groups ) bring prospective students and institutions together to share information on studying at particular institutions. Seminars are usually organised in partnership with particular agencies. Showcases Showcases involve simulated classrooms that demonstrate overseas study environments. These are opportunities to target potential students who want to gain in-depth knowledge about further studies. For example, the University of Surrey UK cooperated with a Shanghai-based education agency to offer prospective students an introductory lecture on An introduction to corporate financial management and financial markets. Study tours Study tours involve prospective parents and students travelling to a country or region to gain an insight into possible study destinations. These tours offer students and parents an opportunity to try before they buy, and incorporate social activities alongside institution visits. Study tours are becoming increasingly popular; New Oriental / Overseas Vision will offer 142 study tours in the second half of 2013 alone. 7

9 Media channels Traditional media remains an effective channel to target adults, whereas new media has become the preferred means of information for younger generations who seek fast, effective and customised information. A range of new media platforms are being used to promote international education options to potential Chinese students, such as QQ.com, 163.com, Sina.com.cn, Sohu.com, Taisha.org, Chasedream.com, Skykiwi.com, Tycool.com, Weibo, RenRen, Douban Group and Wechat. Interpersonal networks are becoming increasingly important in China as a channel for international education promotion. Foreign institutions are utilising hometown, alumni and business associations ever more effectively to increase their profiles. 8

10 Appendix 2 Background This research was commissioned by Education New Zealand to identify potential opportunities and possible approaches to building a strong New Zealand presence in China and the main targeted cities. Methodology In order to gain a thorough understanding of the Chinese overseas study market for New Zealand the following information sources were utilised: Questionnaire survey. Comprehensive quantitative survey involving 2,573 samples with a focus on the targeted cities. In depth interviews. Twenty-four interviews with overseas study agencies across the eight targeted cities. Thirty-seven interviews with prospective students/parent and eight interviews with New Zealand alumni. Research on authoritative/official reports. Reports included the Chinese government s National Plan for Medium and Long Term Education Reform and Development ( ), as well as reports from the China Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) and 21 st Education Research institution. 9

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