Education in China has undergone sweeping changes since 1980. A major change is the emerging popularity of elite private schools. Different from public schools under China’s 9-year free compulsory education, many elite private schools, with expat teachers and small classes, have western-style curriculum and focus on developing students’ creative abilities. Newly-affluent families favoring private schools are willing to pay tuitions ranging from $36,000 to $72,000 per year and they believe children in these private schools are also from well-off families. The trend has also attracted investors from other industries, with big firms like Vanke and Alibaba investing billions in private schools.
Youngsters in China are looking for a more pragmatic approach to education that will lead to more money and a part to play in China’s much ballyhooed rise to a country of innovators. A 2014 report from iResearch, estimates that the number of online education learners in the country will surpass 120 million in 2017, an almost 80% increase in student numbers from 2013, and that online education revenue will more than double over the same period. Of all the sub-sectors within the online education industry, vocational education stands out as one of the key drivers of the industry’s future success.
How technology will make higher education better, but probably not cheaper.