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The number of Chinese students attending UK and US schools and colleges has risen dramatically over the past few years. Prestigious Western universities and schools have also formed strong partnerships with Chinese institutions, providing a platform for more and more Western students to study in China.

So what can we learn from this two-way educational exchange? How can it help East and West to understand each other’s rich and diverse cultures?

What specifically are the criteria by which Chinese students and their families choose Western college and schools, such as those of the UK?

These are among the questions I asked Susan Fang in a recent interview in the Asia Business Network Expert Series.

Susan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Academic Powerhouse, the world’s leading educational consultancy which provides independent and professional advice on all aspects of UK education as well as all aspects of China and Far East education

In response to my questions, Susan cited return on investment and value for money as being the most important for Chinese choosing a school or college. But she also drew attention to another factor that has great drawing power for the Chinese in both education and business – status.

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In a society in which notions of face play such an important part, as well as the visible signs of status, choosing a college or school with a famous name (such as Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard or Princeton) is considered as important as ROI.

Equally important is the city name, which must be known and recognizable in China – cities such as Manchester, Liverpool or London. And rankings also play a significant role, particularly in a culture that has the Imperial Civil Service Exams hard-wired into its historical DNA.

So what are the main cross-cultural challenges for attracting Chines students to study in Western schools and colleges?

Lean in as we discuss the ways in which Chinese students and families have to adjust to an unfamiliar Western culture, just as Western students have to adjust to Chinese life and culture.

And discover why Susan believes passion and a desire to help others lie at the heart of building a successful East-West educational consultancy and East-West cultural exchanges in general:

5 Tips For Creating Successful East-West Educational Exchanges

Listen in as Susan shares:

  • Why Chinese choice of studies will gradually shift centre from business to arts, design and humanities
  • The reason that BA and MA courses are more popular than MBAs

  • How to choose a good agent in China

  • The 4 main areas of interest in the educational landscape in China

  • Convincing Chinese parents that a ‘housemaster’ or ‘housemistress’ is not a ‘matron’! And much more…

Susan was born in Taiwan. Discover how Taiwanese students differ from their Mainland Chinese counterparts in choice of studies.

Do you have a story of studying in Asia or China to share? Or of Asian students adapting to the culture of Western countries?

Would you add anything to Susan’s great advice on how to create successful East-West educational exchanges? Please add your comments in the box below and if you found this helpful, share on the social media buttons.

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