Education export to China: opportunities, challenges and possible

Education export to China Lecture Series I:
Opportunities, challenges and successful scenarios
Seppo Hölttö, Professor
Yuzhuo Cai ,University of Lecuturer, Adjunct Professor
Chinese Education Research and Exchange Centre/Higher Education Group
School of Management, University of Tampere
5th January 2012, Vapriikki, Tampere
Main topics
 Changes of internationalisation of education in
 China as a prioritised export destination
 Opportunities
 Challenges
 Successful scenarios & potential risks
 Future topics
Changes of internationalisation
of education in Finland
Models of internationalisation of
education in Finland
 1) traditional individual based mobility,
 2) internationalisation based on bilateral institutional
 3) programme based internationalisation
 4) internationalisation based on institutional and
disciplinary networks
 5) market oriented internationalisation.
Drivers for change
 Emergence of knowledge based society
 Growing importance of knowledge in production (as a
resource and product)
 Globalisation
 National and supra-national policies
 Internationalisation
 Importance of HE in other national and regional policies
(national competitiveness)
 Internationalisation of HE and universities
A move towards education export
 Initiated in Higher education sector
 Amendments to both the Universities Act (1997/645)
and the Polytechnics Act (2003/351)—made to order
 Universities Act (2009)— tuition fee programmes
 Selected Master programmes
 Made to order education
 Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education
Institutions (2009-2015)
A move towards education export
 Extend to all sectors of Finnish education
 Education Export Strategy (2009)
 Future Learning Finland (2010)
 Funded by three Ministries
 Coordinated by Finpro
Need for institutional capacity
 Linked to the University Reform (New legal status of
 International Master programmes
 National and European (Erasmus Mundus)
 Professional continuing education programmes
 Reforms of international administration (new models
of internationalisation)
 What we mean by educational markets?
 Which kinds of markets we want to operate in?
 Which kinds of products we want to offer to the
 Which kinds of capacity we need to operate in the
selected segments of markets?
China as an prioritised export
China Action Plan (MOF, 2010)
 China is considered as an important international
actor and as a partner to Finland and EU
 Outside EU, China is the second largest trader partner
of Finland after Russia
 8 Billion Euros Finnish investment in China
 340 Finnish offices, subsidiaries and joint-venture in
Asia Action Programme (MOE, 2006)
 Development of expertise on Asia and co-operation with
Asian countries are priorities of internationalisation.
 Many rapidly developing Asian countries offer great potential
and it is important for Finnish higher education institutions,
research institutions, the cultural field and other parties to
aim to take advantage of this potential in their international
co-operation as well.
 Regionally, operations are specifically targeted at countries in
East and South Asia, where the attraction of China, Japan,
South Korea and India is internationally strong.
Strategies for Internationalisation
(MOE, 2009)
 The rapid economic growth in populous fast
developing countries, such as China and India, and
their engagement with the global economy affect the
direction that internationalisation takes.
 China and many other rapidly growing economies are
increasing their investment in higher education,
research and innovation. The relative weight of
Finland as a higher education and science country is
What opportunities?
 Opportunities in terms of increasing market demand
 Opportunities in terms of policy changes in China
 Opportunities in terms of Finland’s international
 Opportunities in terms of benefits for Finnish
business sector
Chinese degree students in Finland
Biggest student source country
 China is the largest student source country,
accounting for 18.5% of all students -studying abroad
in the OECD area (OECD 2010)
 Chinese students represent the largest international
student cohort in Finland (CIMO 2010)
Foreign students in Finland in 2010
Big potential for revenue
 Only 0,81% of Chinese students pursuing studies
abroad come to Finland (2095 against 285,000)
 In addition to young students, there is a growing
demand for training adults (officials, managers,
The principles set by the Central
Communist Party Committee in 1992
 To support students and scholars studying abroad,
 To encourage them to return to China after their
completion of studies, and
 To guarantee them the freedom of coming and going.
China’s joining WTO
 Commitment to GATS: four models
 New regulations on foreign educational provision in
Model 1 & 2
 Mode 1: Cross-border supply
 Refers to the provision of distance educational courses
and services.
 No commitment to cross-border supply in terms of
either market access or national treatment.
 Mode 2: Consumption abroad
 Refers to citizens of one country studying in another
country. For this mode, China has imposed no limitations
either on market access or national treatment.
Model 3 & 4
 Mode 3: Commercial presence
 Refers primarily to the educational institutions from one country in
another country to set up schools and other educational institutions
that are engaged in education and related services.
 According to China’s commitment, foreign education institutions are
not allowed to independently set up branches and other
 Mode 4: Presence of natural persons
 Refers primarily to the citizens of one country in another country
who are engaged in professional teaching and training.
 There is a limitation on market access with respect to the movement
of people: qualified foreign individuals may enter China to provide
education services when invited or employed by Chinese education
Domestic legislation
 the Regulations on Chinese-foreign Cooperation in
Running Schools issued by the State Council in 2003
 CFCRS: “the activities of the cooperation between
foreign educational institutions and Chinese
educational institutions in establishing educational
institutions within the territory of China to provide
education service mainly to Chinese citizens”
Image of Finland
 Success of Finland in PISA
 Chinese do look Finland as a good example of basic
education and try to learn Finnish lessons.
 Also good image in other areas, such as clean
technology, ICT, public administration, etc.
 More Chinese officials and professionals trend to take
training courses in Finland.
Existing Finnish companies in China
 300 companies
 30,000 employees
 Need qualified labour forces
Opportunities for business sector
 Training Chinese learners in Finland as a direct promotion
of the local tourist industry.
 Promoting Finnish business through educating and
influencing Chinese governmental officers and company
leaders who are in Finnish training programmes.
 Building partnership between Finnish Companies and
Chinese Universities through Finnish HEIs.
 Educating Chinese talents for Finnish companies’ business
operations in China and even the labour market in Finland.
What challenges?
 Challenges at home
 Not ready for education export
 Lack of clear strategy in implementation
 Challenges in the market place
 Image of Finland is not well-perceived in China
 A difficult market
General review by MOE (2007)
 In education, research and culture, Finland has a wide range of
relations with Japanese, Chinese, India and Korean
organisations. However, seen as a whole they are fairly
dispersed. Relations with Asian countries seems to be lacking in
coordination both at home and among units operating in Asian
 As the countries in question are extremely large in comparison
with Finland, the presence and contacts of one single Finnish
organisation there will not achieve the desired effect.
 Perhaps the most critical shortcoming is, however, that the aims
of different organisations with regard to cooperation with Asian
countries often seem to be rather unfocused.
Readiness of education export
Traditional academic values
Lack of experience on education export
Lack of knowledge on targeting market
Lack of commitment
Lack of investment (and even the financial framework
for investment in education export)
 Lack of coordination
 Restrictions by Finnish legislation
Objective of internationalisation
 The number of international degree students will be
considerably increased
 The international education will be developed as an
export industry (MOE, 2009)
Dilemma 1
 On the one hand, charging tuition fees from some
international students would not be likely to generate
much additional revenue until international students made
up a substantial proportion of the total student population
 On the other hand, as the majority of current international
students chose to study in Finland because of its free
education, the international student number may drop
after tuition fees are introduced
Dilemma 2
 Full-cost fees was introduced in 1980 in UK
 Financial pressure drive British HEIs to go out into the
world of market
 In Finland, the Government does not want to give
much pressure to HEIs, but
 expects the HEIs are motived to do education export
Dilemma 3
 The Government expects the education export can be
the second NOKIA to boost the economy of Finland,
 has not considered or stressed the importance of
Less attention to key issues
 What should be expected from international
 How much should be charged for tuition fees?
 Why do students study in a host country?
 What type of education export should be the priority?
Image of Finland
 In general, Finland (higher education in particular) is
not well-known in China
Quality bring success?
 Yes by theory.
 But in practice quality can hardly be measured
 What affect (Chinese) students choice in pursuing
foreign education?
 University ranking/reputation
 Employment prospect
Difficult in entry
 “the opportunities are there, but the entry costs will
be high” (Adams, 2007, p. 414)
 “Institutional cooperation (in China) is not established
over night …it requires a substantial amount of
planning, exchange and commitment”. (NESO, 2010,
p. 37):
Difficult in networking and trust
 Reflection from Finnish business operations in China
 Mainly doing business with foreigners though being
located in China
 Educationalists have less knowledge and experience
in doing business in China
Difficult in understanding
 What written by policy documents vs. what happened
in practice
 The languages need to be interpreted not only
linguistically but also culturally
 Difficult to access to statistics
 Diversity and variety
Difficult in operation
 How to maintain network or relationship (Guanxi)
 Trust issue (different way of building trust)
 Finns people normally build transaction first and, it
successful, a relationship/trust will ensure.
 Chinese believe that perspective partners should build a
relationship/trust first, if successful, transactions or
effective activities will follow.
 Lack of competent stuff to work in negotiation and
running business
Conflicts in bureaucratic procedures
 Planning
 China: fast decision and expect quick response, short
term plan, plan is abstract
 Finland: slow decision and take a long time to respond,
long term plan, plan is concrete
 Contract
 cost based on per person
 cost based on total programme
Successful scenarios
Models of education export
 Synergy between industry education export and industry
education export
 Focus on a few areas which Finland has special expertise
and reputation
 Academic expertise
 Development expertise
 Develop offshore education in cooperation with local
partners in China
 Traditional model of student studying abroad will remain
but the emphasis tend to attracting most gifted students.
 Efforts towards cooperation and one Finnish brand
 More investment on product development and
Capacity building
 More studies on education export and targeting
market (identifying future tendencies)
 Utilise experts, alumni and local partners
 Partnership with Chinese universities and schools
 Effective national coordination on education export
 University, UAS, School cooperation in Finland
 Poor quality programmes may ruin the reputation of
the whole Finnish education
 Rush to education export with irrelevant curricula to
local market needs
 Find the wrong (niche) markets
 Find the wrong partners
 Neglect experts’ role
Future lectures
 Chinese education reforms and trends 13-15 8th Feb
 Relevant policies and reforms in China and
implications for foreign educational providers 13-15
15th March
 Marketing and branding Finnish education in China
13-15 18th April
 Places will be in the University of Tampere premise
Relevant references
Cai, Y. (2005). The future of European higher educating from a Chinese
perspective--the internationalisation dimension. In J. Enders, J.
File, J. Huisman & D. Westerheijden (Eds.), The European higher
education and research landscape 2020: Scenarios and strategic
debates (pp. 191-202). Enschede, the Netherlands: CHEPS.
Cai, Y., & Hölttä, S. (2006). Kiina ja suomalainen korkeakoulupolitiika. In
T. Aarrevaara & J. Herranen (Eds.), Mikä meitä ohjaa? (pp. 85-99).
Jyväskylä: Koulutuksen Tutkimuslaitos, Jyväskylän Yliopisto.
Hölttä, S., Pekkola, E., & Cai, Y. (2009). Training Chinese administrative
officials in Finland and its relevance to Finnish "China strategies".
Tiedepolitiikka (Science Policy), 2009(3), 29-42.
Relevant references
Cai, Y. (2011a). Chinese higher education reforms and tendencies:
Implications for Norwegian higher education in cooperating with
China. SIU Report Series, Vol. 4. K. G. Pettersen (Ed.) Retrieved from
Cai, Y. (2011b). Cross-border higher education in China and its implications
for Finland. In Y. Cai & J. Kivistö (Eds.), Higher education reforms in
Finland and China: Experiences and challenges in post-massification
era (pp. 245-260). Tampere: Tampere University Press.
Cai, Y., Hölttä, S., & Lindholm, N. (2011, 10-21 June). Towards sino-Finland joint
venture school. Paper presented at the Standardising Chinese-foregn
Cooperation in Running School, excising Administration According to Law
and Promoting Sustainable Development, Xiamen.
Relevant references
Cai, Y. (In press-a). Employment prospects of Finnish-educated Chinese
graduates in Finnish companies in China—employers'
perspectives. Tampere: School of Management, University of
Cai, Y. (In press-b). International graduates from Finland: Do they
satisfy the needs of Finnish employers abroad? Journal of
Research in International Education.
Cai, Y., Hölttä, S., & Kivistö, J. (in Press). Finnish higher education
institutions as exporters of education--are they ready? In S. Ahola
& D. Hoffman (Eds.), CHRIF year book 2010.
Cai, Y., & Kivistö, J. (in press). Tuition fees for international students in
Finland—where to go from here? Journal of Studies in
International Education.
Contact at CEREC
 Seppo Hölttä, Director
 Yuzhuo Cai, Research Coordinator
 Cuihong Jin-Muranen, Secretary
 Email: [email protected]

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