“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of the mine worker can become head of the mines, that the child of a farm worker can become president of a great nation.”
– Nelson Mandela
Education changes life. Many Asian parents have realized the value of good education and willing to invest in their child’s future. Over the past three decades, the number of students enrolled outside their country of citizenship has risen dramatically, from 0.8 million worldwide in 1975 to 3.7 million in 2009, a more than fourfold increase. In 2009, Australia, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and New Zealand (in descending order) have the highest percentages of international students among their tertiary enrolments. Asian students represent 52% of foreign students enrolled worldwide. With the booming middle class in Asia, parents are now seeking different options for their child’s early education. This creates new opportunity for western schools besides colleges and universities, which are trying to build the brand name expanding geographically and attracting Asian students. How to enhance the school image to the Asian public? What do Asian public expect when choosing the western education? In the following posts series, we will discuss the some marketing strategies and PR tools for marketers in the emerging Asian education field. Before we begin, let’s get a closer look at the Asian parents and understand their expectations.Understand the Asian parents Aiming to send the child to the west for higher education, some middle class Asian parents are searching for schools that enable their kids to expose to western culture and education since young. Parents who favor the western or international learning environment are usually looking for:
- A bilingual program or curriculum which enhances the child’s English proficiency at a young age;
- A dynamic school cultural that exposes the child to the global cultures.
- A well-recognize international qualification (e.g. GCE A Level or IB certificate) that connects the learning path to the west smoothly.
- A higher education that brings career advancement for the child in the global arena.
Overall, parents want their child to strive for excellence academically, at the same time gain the competency to succeed in the global competition and succeed.Make it appealed to the Asian audience – Western education in a nutshell This is more for the Asian marketers and PR professionals trying to promote western schools – Many Asian education systems emphasize heavily on academic excellence, while the western education on the other hand, aim to achieve the balance between the academic and the holistic development of a child. Academically, curriculums are designed to help the child cultivate a love of reading, empower them with knowledge enquiry skills to think independently and work cooperatively. Character development and leadership are weighted equally important as academic results. Students get to discover themselves through a wide range of after school activities or extra curriculum activities. Community works and projects provide the opportunities for them to solve real life problems, experience responsibility-taking and perspective-changing, exercise teamwork and creativity. The role of marketers and PR professionals is to attract potential students by helping Asian public to visualize the child’s academic accelerations and more beyond. (To Be Continued…)