Chinese agents “neutral to pessimistic” about online study



“Educators [who have] invested time and effort in establishing partnerships or promoting online study options through agents have probably not seen much results, ”said Igor Skibickij, COO and head of the China branch of BONARD, during a recent webinar.

“Agents aren’t very keen on replacing face-to-face online learning. Students don’t necessarily want it.

“Agents are not very enthusiastic about replacing online in-person learning”

While up to 50% of students are interested in online programs, according to Skibickij, this interest does not translate into bookings for agents.

“The students are thinking about the options, but they are reluctant to enroll,” he explained.

It was further suggested that the Chinese government wanted to temper interest in studying abroad, especially among K-12 students, with a South China Morning Post article reporting that a “mechanism aimed at discouraging minors from studying abroad ”was being developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Education.

“We have seen this topic appear in the media over the years, although the data on the mobility of outgoing students in the country shows the opposite,” BONARD China office manager Grace Zhu said in response.

“Even in 2020, when students couldn’t travel abroad, they still prepared to study abroad by taking online prerequisite courses, exams, etc.

“Yet it is natural that countries try to retain and / or attract talent. China has invested a lot of resources in its own education system, and some of its universities have entered the top rankings in the world.

Beijing Overseas Study Service Association spokesperson and senior consultant Jon Santangelo also said, “The United States is still considered the gold standard in education, according to most agencies, but a combination of factors internal to the United States and the increase in competing destinations could be cap its demand ”.

In data collected by BOSSA on the study preferences of prospective students, 25% planned to study in the UK, 24% in the US, 11% in Canada, 9% in Australia, 8% in Germany, 6 % in France, 5% in Singapore and Switzerland, 4% in New Zealand and 3% elsewhere.

Santangelo particularly noted that “as consumers from second and third tier cities enter the market, we are seeing greater dispersion to non-English speaking study destinations.”

This could be in part due to the substantial cost differences between studying in the UK and the US compared to, say, Germany.

“The desire to study abroad is not going anywhere. In fact, it will stay on an upward slope, ”he said.


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