Insight & Analysis

Do You Need More Chinese Students?


Chinese students

There have never been so many Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities with roughly 88,000 enrolled last year. Overseas students from China are drawn to Australia for many reasons, including the lifestyle, Australia’s relative proximity to China compared to other western countries and the existing links with Chinese business and trade.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Australian universities are particularly appealing to the wealthy middle class Chinese students who are often funded by their families. Without many of the financial incentives that international students can find at US universities, those who enrol in Australian educational institutions expect to have to pay their own way.

With increasing numbers of universities and colleges looking for ways to attract more international students, marketing to Chinese students is becoming a priority for many.

How can Australian educational institutions attract more Chinese students?

There are two main pathways that Chinese students use when they want to come and study in Australia. Some students choose to use immigration agents to help them apply, while others apply directly to the universities.

Most educational institutions target their marketing to reach the segment that apply directly, while also working to increase their influence through agents.

The two main challenges that education marketers face when targeting Chinese students are:

  1. Branding

Positioning yourself to appeal to the Chinese market can be a challenge, and this is where online marketing can really help. Students in China spend more time online than using any other media so creating campaigns through highly targeted channels like Baidu, WeChat, Weibo or on mobile behaviour display networks can be very effective and can get your name out there and increase your visibility.

  1. Improving conversions to enrollment

Convincing potential students of the benefits of studying at your specific institution takes time and effort and it can’t often be achieved using a single ad. Interaction is important and having customer service or advisors available online to answer questions can really help to clear up any lingering doubt and clarify any areas of uncertainty. Social channels like WeChat and Weibo make it easy to arrange real time chat, and it’s a good idea to have someone on hand to talk to potential students, even if only during the peak times.

With the number of Chinese students growing and set to increase in the future, now is the time to think about how you are marketing to this rapidly growing market.

Are you looking to increase the number of Chinese students enrolling in your educational institution? Get in touch and find out how we can help you better reach students in China who might be interested in studying with you.

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