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Focus on China's Mass Market. Prepared by: EM BEIJING. PART 1 China’s Study Abroad Market Number of Chinese students studying abroad continuously is increasing at approximately 20% annually. 2010, there are 284,700 Chinese students studying abroad.

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focus on china s mass market

Focus on China's Mass Market

Prepared by: EM BEIJING



  • China’s Study Abroad Market
  • Number of Chinese students studying abroad continuously is increasing at approximately 20% annually.
  • 2010, there are 284,700 Chinese students studying abroad.
  • These students include: Government-sponsored students, Agency-sponsored students and Self-funded students in which the self-funded students occupied 90% of total number of studying abroad annually.
number of senior high school students in provinces of china 2010
Number of Senior High School Students in Provinces of China (2010)
  • Data until the end of Year 2009
  • Source from: Provincial / Municipal Statistics Bureau and Educational Committee, PR China

Number of Senior High School Students in Different Provinces / Municipalities / Autonomous Regions, China (2010) ↓

statistics for 2010 average annual income china
Statistics for 2010 Average Annual Income, China

Until 2010, the average income is RMB 37,147 in China.

Source from: Provincial / Municipal Statistics Bureau and Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, PR China


From 1999, China began to dramatically expand its higher education system. Since then, more and more Chinese students have achieved access to higher education.

Despite these increases in enrolment, access to higher education in China remains a very competitive Endeavour because of “gaokao”, the National College Entrance Exam(NCEE), which is described by the Chinese as “thousands of troops on a single-log bridge” due to its low enrolment rate.

In 2011, the Ministry of Education informed that a record of 9.33 million people had applied for the exam and about 6.75 million would be able to enter college(app. 72.35%). It is still a competitive situation. Particularly, as there is a tendency to try to enter the prestigious institutions(identified under Project 211 and Project 985) rather then others so that the competition between the HEIs is increasing.


Analysis for Enrollment Rate of Higher Education in China (2003-2011)

Source from: Ministry of Education, PR China


National Matriculation Minimum Admission Requirement 2011

Tier 1 students, qualified to enroll to the key universities on the 1st batch, such as “ 211-Project Key Universities”, “985-Project Key Universities” such as Tsinghua University, Peking University ,etc.

Tier 2 students, qualified to enroll to general universities on the 2nd batch, such as the local provincial / municipal universities, such as University Shanghai of Science and Technology, Shanghai Normal University ,etc.

Tier 3 student, allow enrolled to the private universities / colleges, or the colleges attached to the University on the 3rd batch, such as Industrial and Commercial College of Hebei University, Guang Hua College of Chang Chun University ,etc.

* Data from 11 provinces / municipalities / autonomous regions

** Full mark is 750

Source from:


Although study abroad is not one of main policy goals of the Chinese government, in 1992 the MoE set the agenda with a sentence which could be translated as “support [students] to go abroad, encourage [them] to come back, and freedom of entry and exit”. This strategy seems to be successful.

In 2010, 284,700 Chinese students were studying abroad. However only nearly 4000 students are enrolled study abroad to Malaysia in the same year. (app. about 1.5%)


Number of Chinese Students Study Abroad (2003 –2010)

* Presently, 2010 data has not been released by Ministry of Education, China by category.

Source from: Ministry of Education, PR China

number of chinese study in malaysia 2003 2010
Number of Chinese Study in Malaysia (2003 – 2010)


Source from: Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia


Number of Chinese Students Studying Abroad and Those Returning(2003 – 2010)

Source from: Ministry of Education, PR China

2010 popular program for chinese students studying abroad
2010 Popular Program for Chinese Students Studying Abroad
  • Undergraduate:
  • Account and Finance
  • Architecture
  • Fine Arts
  • Biotechnology and Medicine Science
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Mass Media and Public Relation
  • Design (Technical and Industrial)
  • Law
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Actuary
  • Postgraduate:
  • Architecture
  • Fine Arts
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mass Media and Broadcasting
  • Law
  • Management
  • Source from: Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (


What are the motivations and perceptions of studying abroad in China?

Respond from students and parents have found that Chinese students are influence by a range of factors.

  • Availability of places in educational institutions in their home country
  • Branding of the education systems in the country
  • Reputations of universities – marketability of given qualification upon graduation
  • Ease of entering the destination country
  • Cost of living and fees
  • Changes in exchange rates
  • Possibility of migrating to the destination country

Result: International student populations vary from country to country.



Challenges and Opportunities

  • Chinese students are received in some 103 countries 
  • Hundreds of colleges and universities not only from the traditional education destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada; Northern and Southern Americas, Europe, including Eastern Europe, Africa and neighboring countries such as Thailand and Singapore are venturing into China, offering similar courses as Malaysia’s, thus offering stiff competition to student’s recruitments.
  • In the next 15 years, China has to establish at least 800 colleges to meet the need with an estimated capital of US 68 billion. Obviously, it exceeds what the public coffers can offer.
  • Besides the demand for higher education, China also needs especially in the fields of vocational training to impart training to millions of rural migrants, retrain millions of laid-off workers and upgrade the skills of some 700 million employed persons.


  • Develop an effective “toolbox” of supportive enrolment of international students.
  • One of the most important factors that influence the demand by students for a particular country’s education is the immigration and student visa laws. If it is relatively easy for students to be granted entry to a particular country compared to other
  • Offering more flexible policy to international students
  • Improve immigration policies, procedures and processing. Ensure Malaysia is a friendly-study destination
  • Malaysia had many competitive advantages such as political and economic stability, excellent infrastructure, relatively low tuition fees and living costs and a widespread use of English. These strengths must be widely publicized to the China students to promote Malaysia as the alternate destination for higher education.


  • More market-oriented courses and programmers offer by Malaysian higher education institution which is leading to enhanced employability.
  • Continue to contribute the financial human and in-kind resources necessary to recruit, admit and effectively support international students.
  • Develop or enhance existing institutional international recruitment strategies.
  • Maximize the presence of international students on campus to further internationalize their teaching, research and community outreach activities.
  • Bring together international educators from China for example
  • Carefully screened, high-quality student recruitment agents at networking forums around the country devoted to achieving results and growing international student enrolments. Extending relationships with existing contacts, obtaining market intelligence and feedback, and promoting their brand in the international education marketplace.
  • Institutions to discuss partnership opportunities such as exchange programs and twinning agreements. The teaching by home staff in overseas institutions, and in the development of offshore campuses. These developments have meant that Malaysian universities now have a direct presence in a number of cities.

PR China Legal Recruiting Agency

Totally there are 379 legal recruiting agencies in China until 12th May 2011.

Source from: Ministry of Education, PR China (

Until the end of 2010, totally there are 457 million internet netizens in China.

Source from: National Bureau of Statistics of China

Also there are 303 million mobile netizens in China until the end of 2010.

Source from: CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center)


Education Trip

Sample of Education Trip in Singapore

  • Beijing Shiji Mingde Education Technology Co., Ltd. was founded in November 2006.
  • Totally there are 200 full time staff and more than thousand part-time staff.
  • Until February 2011, Mingde has successfully provided the education trip service and programme to more than 200,000 students, who are from more than 1,200 local schools.
  • Only in 2010, totally 75,000 students have received the service and participated the education trip through Mingde.
  • Contact information:
  • Add: 5 Floor, Ziguang Building, East Gate of Tsinghua University
  • Tel: 8610-62701616
  • Fax: 8610-62701616 ext. 888
  • Website:


In various aspects, China can and will be of paramount importance for Malaysia higher education, whether we become actively involved or not.