Insight & Analysis

How China is Hungry for Australian Education Services


Chinese education

Australian education service exports to China were worth $4 billion in 2013-14, according to the federal government, and this doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. Talks between both governments to increase opportunities for the marketing of Australian education services have been ongoing, and China’s demand for our services remains strong at the school level and the tertiary level with university and TAFE.

According to some sources, trade minister Andrew Robb’s vision for Australia is to be teaching 10 million overseas students per year within a decade or less. China’s government also has strong ambitions for education reform. This includes their intention to develop a number of world-class universities by 2020, and by 2050 to have an education system considered to be among the best in the world.

In addition, one of the key outcomes for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is China’s intention to list 77 private Australian higher education institutions (ones that are registered with a Commonwealth Register) on its Ministry of Education website.

China’s desire for educational improvement could provide some pretty awesome opportunities for providers of educational services.

Examples of education exports

Two colleges taking advantage of China’s demand for education services are St Stephens in Perth and Haileybury College in Melbourne, most notably in response to recent reduced government funding and a need to be more innovative when it comes to generating income.

According to a report on SBS, both schools have been setting up campuses in China rather than attempting to attract students to Australia. While they are both Australian schools, in China they will be geared towards Chinese students and will offer a blend of Chinese and Australian curriculums with a strong emphasis on English. Students from Haileybury have already travelled to China and spent time doing some touring and getting to know fellow students at the campus in Beijing.

The benefits for both sides

The benefits of these arrangements are mutual, with China getting the educational services they need, and with Australia receiving the revenue generated from the transactions. The principal of St Stephens, Tony George, believes that there is a bigger market for education in China than there is for iron ore! Whether that is really true remains to be seen of course, but it does certainly seem at this point that Australia’s lucrative educational services exports to China are on the rise.

If you are interested in learning more about marketing education services to China, feel free to contact a member of our China marketing team. Our team is very familiar with all aspects of marketing to China and has the language skills and knowledge required to assist you in setting up offshore and maximising your chance of success.

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