Resources for Educators who are recruiting and enrolling students from China in the USA.
Published On: Sat, Jun 1st, 2013


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In China, the Ministry of Education issues a report that ranks all the schools based on how well students test on their hui kao (exams during middle school that will determine high school entry) or gao kao (exams during high school that will determine college entry). These are exams that students from primary and secondary schools must take in order to pass to the next grade level. How well the students test determines not just the school’s ranking but also the compensation of the Principal and teachers at the school.

Since this is how it works in China, most Chinese families who are unfamiliar with the more decentralized US education system will assume that the U.S. News and World Report college rankings issue is equivalent to their Ministry of Education’s.

As you can see, China has very clear way of determining ranking through exams (read my post on the civil servant examination). However, the U.S. education system works very differently. That is why the parents are stuck on ranking.

The more we can educate parents in China about our higher education system and our “whole person” approach, the less they will rely on solely rankings. Good fit is key but going from their education system where everything is determined by examinations to ours takes a huge leap (which is why parents in China use agents).

Here on some tips to relate information to the families in China:
1) Translate your school information into Chinese (focus more on academic and how each department is ranked if you do not have national ranking).
2) Use their social network channels (Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are blocked in China)!
3) Use your existing students from China, alumni or Chinese faculty to reach out to families in China.

Irene Tieh
Cross-Cultural Connector and
Founder of USA College Connection

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