Education Talking Points | 24/07/18

In today’s talking points: Encouraging increased educational exchanges between China and Rwanda; Australian National University announces that it will stop increasing student enrolments; Australia is overtaking the UK for overseas students; One of China’s hottest startups is a $3 billion education company

Encouraging increased educational exchanges between China and Rwanda 

Chinese First Lady, Peng Liyuan, called for more educational exchanges between China and Rwanda after a visit at the FAWE girls’ school in north Kigali, during which she was accompanied by Rwandan First Lady, Jeanette Kagame. As both a wife and mother, First Lady Peng Liyuan has emphasised the importance of education for the country’s development and general happiness. Having observed a lesson at the girls’ school, the Chinese First Lady was impressed by the students’ knowledge of China’s geography, and called for an increased understanding of China through strengthened co-operation in education between the countries.

Read More: CGTN 

Australian National University announces that it will stop increasing student enrolments 

Expansive student numbers at the Australian National University have created concerns about how increasing student enrolments might compromise education quality. Brian Schmidt, vice-chancellor of the university, has commented: “if we get any bigger, we will not be better.” The number of international students has increased from 5,590 to 7,425 students between 2013 and 2016. Mr. Schmidt claims that the student body has reached an appropriate size and declared that, with approximately 20,000 students, the university is “not intending to grow, both international or domestic.”

Read More: ABC

Australia is overtaking the UK for overseas students

According to researchers from University College London (UCL), Australia is now the second most preferred destination for overseas students. Three years ago, the UK was recruiting around 130,000 or so more overseas students than Australia, but with Australia having consecutive years of growth of 12% and 14% in international student numbers, it has caught up and overtaken the UK, which has had much slower growth. According to author of the report released by UCL, one of the reasons for this is that recently the UK government has been holding down the growth of international student visas, whereas Australia has been successfully marketing itself further. Australia continues to attract many students from outside Europe, particularly China, and Sydney and Melbourne rank among the top 10 student cities in the world.

Read More: BBC 

One of China’s hottest startups is a $3 billion education company

Education technology is one of the fastest growing subsets of the tech industry in China. By next year, online English-tutoring is expected to grow to become an $8 billion business, and at the forefront of this is Chinese education startup VIPKID, who recently raised $500million at a valuation of $3 billion. According to Dr. Zhang Weining, an associate professor at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, this is due to the immense value placed on education in traditional Chinese culture. He added that this means many Chinese families are willing to invest a third or in some cases, half their income into their child’s education. English-speaking ability is core to Chinese education, as it is seen to lead to future job and business opportunities, however finding good teachers, especially outside of big cities, can prove costly and difficult, which makes online tutoring options such as VIPKID so successful.

Read More: Business Insider