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Building a network in China to attract diverse talent effectively, successfully, and confidently

With another recruitment season well under way, there seems to be no slowdown in the number of Chinese students seeking to study abroad in theU.S. As highlighted in the 2013Open Doors on International Educational Exchange, for the 2012/2013 academic year, the number of students from China studying in the U.S. increased +21.4% compared to the previous academic year. Equaling to an additional 41,500 Chinese students on U.S. post-secondary campuses (a total of 235,600 Chinese students enrolled in 2012-2013), more and more schools in the U.S. are now seeking ways to increase their presence and recognition in China so that they are able to recruit students who are the ‘right fit’.

But, what are the best ways and most effective strategies, especially given limited resources and financial constraints? Even more so, how can a school ensure it is attracting talented and a diverse pool of students from China?

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, U.S. institutions had an opportunity to participate and learn about this area through a webinar co-sponsored by the Beijing Overseas-Study Service Association (BOSSA) and Zinch (a Chegg Service), titled “China’s Secret Agent Man: Shedding light on a misunderstood market”. The webinar’s main focus was to provide the history and purpose of Chinese agents in the study abroad counseling market, and to share best ways to establish a network in China to better promote and increase awareness to Chinese students and families.

Beijing New Oriental Vision Overseas Consulting (Vision Overseas)was invited as a featured panelist and trusted agent to provide its views and deep experience in working with Chinese students and families. Representing Vision Overseas was Ming-Hao Shiao, Deputy Director of the Department of International Affairs.

Vision Overseas contributed by sharing ways in which U.S. institutions could begin building a presence in China, such as:
●Knowing your institution’s current Chinese student recruitment needs – targets, types of students, source of students (cities, types of high schools, etc.).
●Understanding the current attitudes and views of your school in China – i.e., do Chinese students, families, high schools know about your school? For what?
● If resources are a concern, ways to begin would include outreach to current Chinese students and alumni, testing the market with discussions with Chinese agents, finding agents who are a ‘right fit’ for your school’s recruitment strategy.

Moreover, Vision Overseas shared that the best partners do not come from one or two meetings, but from a successful partnership based on mutual collaboration and trust and recognition that growth may take a period of trial and development. Ultimately, the best partnerships and partnership network are ones that are student-centered. The foundation and key to New Oriental and Vision’s success has been its emphasis on learning and understanding deeply the needs and desires of Chinese students and their families.

About Beijing New Oriental Vision Overseas Consulting

Vision Overseas is a leading study abroad counseling and advisory organization within the Beijing New Oriental Education & Technology Group, the largest private education organization in China. At Vision Overseas, we believe that playing a key role and making contributions to international education is a privilege and importantly, a responsibility to our students and their families.