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PARENTS

Introduction

Education gives children the skills that are essential in later life. For children to compete and be successful in a modern developing nation "work experience" is not sufficient. They need the tools that education brings.The Chinese education system teaches core skills of maths, science and English and later problem solving, computer literacy and analytical thinking. But it is university that is the real springboard for success. What parents expect from a good University education varies but ultimately it is the ability to compete in the workplace. In the increasingly globalised employment market, education is the enabler.

74% of Chinese parents intend for their children to study at postgraduate level. So parents and students have several choices, but the most obvious are:-
  1. Take undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in China
  2. Take undergraduate degree in China and then postgraduate degrees in UK
  3. Take undergraduate and postgraduate degree in UK

It is a daunting decision and the financial consequences are sometimes to much to contemplate.


What one survey shows is that 77% of Chinese parents agree that their child's education is the best investment they can make.


Can UK Universities provide a better education than in China?

Whichever statistics we review the answer comes out "yes". We do not think that the Chinese education system is flawed in any way, but the quality of teachers and resources at UK universities is simply on a higher standard than their counterparts. 85% of Chinese parents would consider sending their child abroad for a better university education. British Universities have a great and deserved reputation around the world and most employers are impressed by a UK degree. The reason is often cited as being that the higher education courses meet strict academic standards. British Universities provide a multicultural, diverse, creative and inviting environment. It is this which gives students the freedom to achieve their personal ambitions and reach their full potential. With more than 35,000 courses to choose from, there are bound to be inspiring courses for everyone.

As a bonus studying in the UK will enhance the students' English language skills, which will be of crucial important in the global business world.


Fees

Please read our fees section on the Undergraduate page and the "Will I get funding..." on the Postgraduate page.

Suffice here to emphasise that besides course/tuition fees there are living costs that have to be considered also. Living costs are not just accommodation and fees, but also utility bills (electricity and gas), clothes, travel. But other costs that are sometimes forgotten are internet in room, socialising, books, stationary, TV license.


How to choose which UK University?

You can look at independent surveys, like the QS or Times or Sunday Times ranking. We give the top ranking on our Universities page and also in our Latest News page. It is also important that the student feels at home at his University. So the University has to be friendly and have a good atmosphere. Frankly, if there are other Chinese students then your child is not going to feel isolated. So if you use rankings understand the basis by which Universities are ranked. Take Kent University for example. 23% of their students comes from overseas and 140 nationalities are represented. So consider also what special events, clubs and national societies are run by the University. These are where most students will meet each other and find friends with similar interest.

Other thoughts that you may have and which might influence your choice include nearest airport; rail links; medical facilities; local area amenities. Again some universities will be near the sea and students enjoy beach life. Many parents are perhaps more concerned about accommodation. Is it clean, comfortable, safe and reasonably priced? Well most universities for undergraduates will provide University accommodation for the 1st year, and these tend to be economic and not dissimilar to China. If anything there tends to be less people in each dormitory and single room occupancy is also possible.


How to Choose a Course

Students taking their first degree will be studying for what we call a Bachelors degree. There are four types:-

  1. BA - Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bsc - Bachelor of Science
  3. BEd - Bachelor of Education
  4. BEng - Bachelor of Engineering

There are a huge range of subjects to choose from and we can direct you to websites that provide the detail. Most important is that your child finds a subject that they will find enjoyable. if they enjoy the subject, studies will be more interesting and in turn this helps them to be a successful student. They have to have a genuine interest and passion for the subject in order to turn it into a successful career. When degrees are awarded they are graded. So for example a BA degrees can be a 1st, upper 2nd, lower 2nd and third class. Students often combine two subjects and widen their studies. For example, Economics and Economic History or Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.It is important that students are successful and obtain a high class degree result.

Explore job websites and graduate opportunities to appreciate what employers are seeking.

Once the subject(s) are selected, you can examine the content of each course and determine which course is most attractive. Again for example some courses will have different percentages of theoretical and practical training. Another factor is that some undergraduate courses offer a year in industry. These are called 'Sandwich' or placement courses. So students can gain experience in global companies. On the other hand these degree tend to be four years in duration as opposed to the usual three. But that one extra year's experience could be important in the career path.

Selecting a course by first selecting the University may simply be the wrong approach. That said, do visit university websites and read online prospectus to get a feel for the University and what it can offer.

As parents you also need to consider entry requirements. Please refer to our pages for Undergraduates and Postgraduates because entry requirements will be an important issue and if you child is to be an undergraduate then he or she will likely need to take a foundation course or you need to consider alternatives before they finish their high school education in China. Ensuring your child has adequate English skills is important and realising that the education up to Gao Kao is not sufficient for UK University entrance.

If you child already has an undergraduate degree and wants to go on to a higher level of study then having a postgraduate degree is often vital. Here are four questions for consideration.

  1. What knowledge will be gained from the course?
  2. What skills is the course likely to develop?
  3. How will these skills be of benefit to the student's future career?
  4. What is the reputation of the academic staff?

Find out more about particular courses. Visit University websites, find out if there is an international team at the University, consider visiting university open days. Also UCAS holds certain International events, so check their website. For example UCAS attends the British Council Education UK Exhibition in Hong Kong.

Finally, you can come to us.


How can we help?

Well you have to make the right decision for your children and we are not here to persuade you but only to present the facts. Please avail yourself of enough information to make informed decisions. Naturally you need to also consider that you have funds to support the path you want your children to take.

Once you have the information, then you can evaluate the options. You probably have questions like which UK Universities offer the best education? How does the application process work? Will your son or daughter find it easy to settle in? Well we can try to answer those questions for you. We have official Chinese representatives in China ready to speak with you.

According to the HSBC Holdings plc report parents worldwide hold the Western education system in highest regard.

If you would like your child to be one of the faces below, please contact us. We expect your call and will answer any concerns you have.

students with mortar board
‘This image and all percentages above Reproduced with permission from The Value of Education, published in 2014 by HSBC Holdings plc."




UK University Application Services.... Helping Chinese students gain placement

THE NEXT STEP

Whatever point you are in your education, whether still in Senior High School or already a Bachelor or Masters Degree graduate, our impartial professional consultancy will enable you to make that right choice. An exploratory discussion about our services can be mutually arranged in English or Chinese and obviously is without cost. Please contact us as shown below or see our Contact Us  page for enquiry and contact forms.


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