Chinese agents “more active than ever” and ready to explore new cooperation opportunities

A recent survey conducted by BONARD has found that education agencies in China are more active than ever and eager to explore new partnership opportunities.

August 28, 2023 BONARD

With Chinese students re-embracing international education, educators have an unprecedented chance to re-establish their presence in the country.
The findings of the survey were presented during the China Agent Market 2023 Annual Report and offer valuable insights for educators planning to engage with the Chinese market.

The survey, which gathered data from 5,000 agencies, revealed several significant findings:

Growth of Newly Established Agencies

Between December 15, 2022, and May 15, 2023, a remarkable 23,191 agencies were established in China, accounting for 67% of the total number in existence in 2022.

The number of agencies established per year reflects the level of activity in the institutional market and institutional confidence in the study abroad market.

From 2000 to 2012, the number of agencies established per year grew steadily. From then until 2021, this growth accelerated, especially after July 2017, when study abroad service agencies no longer required State Council approval.

1691494718376Agency establishment trends in China | Source: Qichacha, 2023

In 2022, the number of agencies being established decreased for the first time.

However, as the number of agencies established in the first five months of 2023 already represents 67% of the total number established in 2022, it is predicted that a higher number of agencies will be established this year.

Active Search for New Business and Partnerships

In China’s bustling education market, both new and experienced agents are jumping at the chance to explore fresh business opportunities and build strong partnerships. Their enthusiasm is driving the market forward and creating exciting possibilities for collaboration and expansion.

Newly established agencies see market potential and increasing demand from local cities, motivating them to start related businesses this year as the market bounces back.

Seasoned agencies share this positive outlook and are confident about the market’s ongoing recovery. They’re actively exploring new business ventures and expanding existing collaborations.

The Chinese education market is buzzing with growth and innovation, attracting new and experienced agents to come aboard for an exciting journey.

1691494789264Results of the agent survey conducted by BONARD in 2023

Consistent Program Promotion Trends

As regards types of programs promoted by agencies, little has changed since 2022 except a slight decrease in the promotion of K-12 programs.

While the market is gradually bouncing back, the K-12 sector is taking its time, and we might not see significant changes in the first half of the year. While agencies in Guangzhou and Shenzhen seem to have more interest in K-12 and ELT programs, other agencies are playing it safe and being a bit more cautious about this sector. Instead, their focus is on promoting higher education, especially when the market shows promise.

1691494817842Results of the agent survey conducted by BONARD in 2023

Rise in Student Interest in the US and Australia

Most agencies are seeing a rise in outbound mobility interest, pointing to exciting opportunities in international education. Students are showing particularly keen interest in studying in the United States and Australia, which were out of bounds for a couple of years.

Australia has been stealing the limelight since its borders opened early last year. Many students who haven’t been able to go abroad during the past two years are now choosing Australia as their ultimate destination. Meanwhile, some initially considered the UK but later opted for Australia as an excellent alternative due to the UK’s saturation.

Regarding the U.S. - with the pandemic subsiding, improved visa policies, and enhanced international flights, the allure of quality academics and U.S. universities continues to attract a substantial number of Chinese students, leading to a slight application recovery.

1691494842704Results of the agent survey conducted by BONARD in 2023

Optimism for the Market

Agents expressed optimism about market prospects for the upcoming academic year, demonstrating confidence in the recovery and growth of the Chinese education market.

“Agencies are more active now than ever and ready to explore new cooperation opportunities. This is an unprecedented opportunity for educators to re-establish their presence in China – but it’s essential to be prepared.”

Grace Zhu, China Branch Director at BONARD

Webinar Insights

The report, presented by Grace Zhu and BONARD’s COO, Igor Skibickij, has garnered significant interest, with over 300 industry organizations eager to learn about the latest developments in the Chinese education market. The webinar not only provided a detailed analysis of the survey results but also offered practical and actionable insights to guide strategic engagement with the Chinese market.

Access the report

For those who missed the webinar, a recording is available. You can also request a complimentary copy of the presentation by visiting the following here:

Access the report


Learn more about the Chinese education market

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay ahead in the dynamic Chinese education market. Take advantage of the valuable insights and resources provided in the report to drive your success in China!