Cen Qingcai, lives in Shanghai in China and is retired. He wants to send his his 12 years old granddaughter to study abroad.
“My granddaughter is studying French at the distinguished Shanghai Foreign Language School. She spends all of her time on her studies and the school puts pressure on its students. Our family hopes to send her to a school where she does not need to worry so much about her academic scores,” the old man said.
He said his family could afford the cost of sending her in a foreign country (150,000-300,000 yuan per year). Him and his family are tired with the Chinese system which tends to put pressure on kids and focus only on academic scores versus their child overall development.
Alex Zou, CEO of Vancouver Public Education Alliance, company which helps Chinese family to send their pre-Grade 12 pupils studying at public schools in the Canadian province of British Columbia. His business has doubled every year in the last past few years.
Most of the children he helps study at high schools but some of them really move at a young age (some of them go to kindergartens).
“High school students we serve only need to pay about C$24,000 (HK$150,000) a year, including tuition and board, which can easily be covered by many Chinese families,” Zou said. “I think studying in Canada has become an ‘education for ordinary people’.”
Parent are not satisfied in the way China educate their children and only values students merely by their academic performances and tend to neglect their personality and hobbies. Study abroad will also them in the competitive job market.
First when China opened their frontiers and enable students to study abroad in the late 1970s, the vast majority were pursuing master’s degrees or doctorates overseas. But 10 years ago, a shift happened, the proportion of undergraduate students rose before mainland children began enrolling at overseas high schools a few years ago, according to a report by Eol.ocn, China’s largest education portal website.
Countries of destination
USA is in the 3 destinations for studying abroad and almost 24,000 Chinese pupils were enrolled at private high schools in 2013 compared to 65 students 8 years ago.
ZENG YING, FROM GUANGDONG
Zeng Ying, from Guangdong, said her 16-year-old daughter was happy attending high school in Montreal and they were going to send her to university in Canada or US, even if s a lot of money.
For now, most of the children studying abroad came from the wealthy coastal regions families. The 2nd and 3rd cities families prefer their kids to complete high school at home.
In Australia, tuitions ranged between 70,000 Yuan a year at public schools and 200,000 Yuan a year at private schools. Last year, Australia admitted foreign students to its middle school Grades 7-9. Jackie Liu, a consultant at Idp.cn, said some mothers are even willing to move with their children to look after them.
Clive Smith-Langridge, headmaster of Packwood Haugh School in England, receives many enquiries from Chinese parents for his preparatory school that accommodates pupils aged four to 13. One came from the parent of a one-year-old baby…
The demand of education is growing and it represent a tremendous potential
Ouyang Qiang, China representative of Germany’s boarding school Schule Schloss Salem, says that 40 of the school’s 630 students were from the mainland, it increased a lot since the 90s when they had 1 or 2. Even if the tuition and board cost ¤30,000 per year (HK$255,000), the number of demands keeps growing but Germany implemented a quota then the school won’t be able to accept more.