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Why Is Education The Best Way To Attract Chinese Investors
Chinese students vs world’s toughest exam
Gaokao exam. It even sounds scary. If you’ve never heard about it, gaokao is a Chinese exam that students need to take in their final year of secondary or high school. The exam can be compared to British A-Levels or International Baccalaureate exams.
The stakes are very high – gaokao determines which university student will go to. Oh, and did we mention that the infamous exam has been named the world’s toughest school exam?
China’s best universities take only one student in every 50 000. So clearly the environment is extremely competitive.
Gaokao is one of the reasons for Chinese students to choose universities abroad in countries like UK, USA, Canada or Australia. In 2016 alone 664,993 Chinese students headed to study at overseas universities.
Background checks on students family
But high standards in Chinese schools aren’t only students’ problems. Very often, getting a spot in the best and most prestigious schools won’t just depend on student’s performance, behaviour and skills.
Surprisingly, schools tend to check student’s parents and sometimes even grandparents before agreeing to secure the place. To give you an example, parents could be asked to do a math quiz.
The whole family could also be “graded” according to their educational status. Parents can even be checked for their body shape. Why? The schools argue that obesity suggests poor or lack of self-management!
Needless to say, the pressure is intense and can be overwhelming at times for both students and parents. This pressure created a demand for alternatives to Chinese schools and universities.
Chinese investors want their children to study abroad
According to the Hurun Report “Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015”, over 80% of Chinese high net worth individuals want their children to study abroad in the future. The report also unravelled that school districts are the most preferred locations for Chinese investors while searching for properties.
In the case of Western education, the main target for many Chinese consumers is top English-speaking countries like the US and the UK. It is worth noting that in the UK, Chinese people are not able to obtain a student tuition fee loan.
At the same time tuition fee is higher for Asian students meaning that each year Chinese parents whose kids study in the UK need to pay over £10,000 in advance before the academic year starts.
Even though after adding the living costs it is very expensive for Chinese students to get an education in Britain, the UK remains #2 education destination for China’s students.
Foreign education as a selling point
When looking to attract Chinese investors, you should really factor in education. If there are good schools in the local area then use this as a selling point.
These education trends create a demand for overseas property. Depending on your target market, you could use ‘Chinese students studying abroad’ theme as a part of your marketing strategy.
If your real estate property is in a close proximity to any type of education option, make sure to include this information in your listings.
Universities and colleges will be your leverage to win over a potential buyer most of the time, however, don’t miss out on nurseries and primary and secondary schools. The age of Chinese students going overseas is dropping younger each year so those details could be worth including as well.
You can also try to expand your network of connections to local schools – Chinese buyers will very often come visit the school and the campus.
If you manage to let them know that your agency is selling real estate property near the school they’re looking at during their visitation, it is very likely that they will reach out. As long as they like the school.
You might also find yourself in a situation where a potential Chinese buyer asks you about details that you probably don’t know e.g. the exact entrance requirements and qualifications. In that case, it’s quite useful to know a person at the school that could help you answer those questions in detail and using up to date information.
At the moment there is no indication that the trend of Chinese students going abroad for higher education will stop or decrease. On contrary, it looks set to continue growing.
After all, foreign universities offer prestige, lower pressure and at the same time a high standard, an opportunity to learn a foreign language fluently and to get to know a different (business) culture and most importantly they look favourably in a CV.

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