Invest in China as a Higher Education Destination
By Stephen Healy
Senior Vice President, Global Initiatives and Asia
INTO University Partnerships
China has witnessed a boom in international students in recent years. Increasing competition from national, regional and international education providers means that foreign students in the Middle Kingdom have more choice of higher education programmes and institutions than ever before. Together with the growing reputation of its leading universities, this has also led to increased foreign interest in investing in China’s education sector.
China’s education industry presents a rich, albeit immature, field of investment opportunities. In China, foreign entities are encouraged to invest in vocational training schools (excluding certain fields such as police school and military aviation school), and are also permitted to invest in tertiary education. However, the foreign-invested university must be a joint venture with a Chinese party, and the school must be “led by a Chinese party,” meaning that the headmaster or the chief administrator in a foreign-invested education institution must be a Chinese national.
Case Study – INTO and Nankai University
One example of a foreign firm that has successfully invested in China’s education industry is INTO, which in 2014 enrolled over 12,000 international students across its network of university partners.
Although in the last year the U.S. remained its strongest growth source, INTO saw a 350 percent increase in applications at their pioneering partners in China. With 350,000 international students studying in China each year, it is now the third most popular study destination worldwide after the U.S. and UK.
Increasingly, Chinese Universities are making education in China more accessible for international students by offering English Medium Programmes. Through initiatives such as the Nankai University and INTO partnership, more students are able to pursue academic studies in China. English Medium Programmes enable students to learn Chinese whilst continuing to pursue studies in their chosen field. The partnership with INTO enables Nankai to focus entirely on academic delivery. INTO complements Nankai’s academic excellence in the classroom by identifying and nurturing student demand globally and delivering student support services on campus.
The implications of international education in China for employment and business are considerable. Whether they are an MNC or a Chinese company, the reality of the global marketplace is that it requires a workforce with global knowledge. Students seeking to enrich their academic and cultural experience by studying at a Chinese university have a mind-set that immediately enables them to add value to a business.
INTO’s MBA programme at Nankai University is an example of a degree designed specifically for the purpose of preparing future global leaders with specific knowledge of China. As China has become a magnet for global business, job opportunities are becoming more abundant and diversified every year. Even a brief period of study in China is certain to be valuable to a career in many different fields.
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dezshira.com.
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