“Educators [who have] invested time and effort to build up partnerships or promote online study options through the agents have probably not seen many results,” said COO & head of China Branch at BONARD Igor Skibickij during a recent webinar. “Agents are not very keen to take on the online replacement of in-person learning. Students don’t necessarily want it.”

While as many as 50% of students are interested in online programs, according to Skibickij this interest is not translating into bookings for agents.

There have additionally been suggestions that the government in China is keen to temper interest in studying abroad, particularly among K12 students, with a South China Morning Post article reporting that “a mechanism to discourage minors from studying abroad” was being developed by the Ministry of Education.

“We’ve seen this topic occurring in the media over the years, though the country’s outbound student mobility data shows otherwise,” said China Office manager at BONARD Grace Zhu in response.

“Even in 2020 when students couldn’t travel abroad, they were still preparing for an overseas study taking online pre-courses, exams, and so on.

“It is however natural that countries try to keep and/or attract talent. China has been investing a lot of resources into their own education system and some of their universities have entered the world’s top rankings.”

The article was originally published on ThePieNews (March 2021) at the following link.

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