BONARD (formerly StudentMarketing), a leading research and development platform helping educators and investors to succeed internationally, is improving its offering to better serve its Asian clients. Investment in its staff, growth in partnerships, and a presence throughout Asia have all positioned BONARD to further assist clients in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.
With over a decade spent advising the international education market, BONARD has helped government agencies, associations, schools, and providers. “More than 160 stakeholders have benefited from our local insight, expertise, and presence overseas,” said BONARD’s Founder and CEO, Samuel Vetrak.
With institutions and schools finding it increasingly challenging to understand dynamically changing markets and build suitable connections, BONARD aims to facilitate entry into and ongoing operations in source markets through its proven market expertise and insights. Its local presence can shorten lead times into new markets and reliable collaboration can help speed track success.
Five years ago, BONARD established an office and team in China to assist international educators there. By leveraging BONARD’s market intelligence and international partnerships, more than 40 Australian government agencies, UK associations, Canadian schools, American universities, and European stakeholders have increased their student intake.
BOSSA MoU extended, new partnerships established
Now, with another five years’ experience under its belt and a team of 10 in China, BONARD has decided to power up and invest in its position and capacity: Vetrak, together with BONARD’s newly-appointed China Branch Manager, Adam Keckes, have recently signed multiple new partnership agreements in China and Asia. The first of these was signed in Beijing on Jan 24th 2019 with the key agent association BOSSA, with more specific actions to be determined in the future. In particular, the new partnership will secure support for BOSSA’s upcoming events and marketing activities (primarily for universities), such as The First China-International Universities Summit, a historically first higher education symposium bringing together nearly 300 Chinese and international universities under one roof (June 12-14th, 2019, Beijing, China).
BONARD has also established partnerships in China with multiple other stakeholders, including Caizhi, CEAIE, and Zhilian Zhaopin (one of the largest job portals in China), enabling a new dimension of research and insights into the Chinese market.
Furthermore, Vetrak has announced the completion of the biggest and most comprehensive research into the agent market in China, featuring all educational agents and their distribution by cities, size, portfolio, credentials, and other criteria. This will enable overseas educators to identify the right agent partners – including in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities − within seconds.
“After deregulation of the agent market by the government back in February 2017, the Chinese agent market has become more fragmented and less transparent, with many new agencies, and local schools becoming de facto agents (sending students). It was time to enable international education stakeholders to have a better idea of who and where to consider working (with),” said Adam Keckes.
Comprehensive data, research, & intelligence on Asia
Later, Vetrak conducted a series of meetings with stakeholders in Japan (JAOS) and the Philippines (English Philippines) to cement previous working relationships with these countries and associations, and to show support and agree on future cooperation.
At the beginning of February, English Australia published a research report called Raising the profile in China of Australia’s excellence in the delivery of English language training that investigates the opportunity for growth in standalone ELICOS students from China. BONARD was proud to collaborate on the report as a research partner.
Recently, Stefan Kolibar, BONARD’s senior manager responsible for strategic and marketing partnerships, presented and talked to investors in education and student housing at The Class of 2020’s Global Investment Summit series, in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
During the year, BONARD plans to support multiple other industry partners and events, especially IALC Taiwan Roadshow and English UK China Roadshow. This will include assisting dozens of individual schools seeking assistance or a fast track into Asian markets.
“After ten years in the business, with an extensive team, expertise, experience, and connections in house, BONARD is in a very strong position to assist educators and investors in China as well as the entire APAC region. People appreciate it a lot − we have become a destination for expertise and local help in China. Now, we have secured even more added value for our education partners. We are here and ready to help − more than ever,” said Igor Skibickij, one of the directors responsible for taking BONARD into the Chinese market back in 2012.
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