Insights for Schools Looking to Recruit Chinese Students This Summer | EDUBOSTON

Insights for Schools Looking to Recruit Chinese Students This Summer

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018

Insights for Schools Looking to Recruit Chinese Students This Summer

Listening to a group of Chinese 13- and 14-year-olds talking about the test, school visits, and interviews, you could easily imagine they were high school students stressing over their SATs and college applications. They have been studying and worrying about this test and their high school admissions prospects all year, knowing that the high school they attend will affect their college and career options later. Even if their parents do not obligate them to go to extra classes and tutors to prepare, the students themselves – those who have the means – often choose to do so, understanding what is at stake. It is a lot of pressure that some seem more ready to shoulder than others, who are equally bright, but who squirm and fidget in their seats as they talk about it.

Like the PSAT here in the US, there are simulations of the Zhongkao to give kids an idea of what to expect and how well they can do. According to a group of students I spoke with in Shanghai, some do so well on the simulations they will be invited to interview at high schools even before the final test results are in.  

Students who do not do as well on the Zhongkao as hoped may look to high schools abroad for another chance at the college prep path. Some parents also opt to bypass the stress of the Zhongkao and the later Gaokao and the whole test-based, high-pressure education system completely by sending their children to schools abroad or international schools within China.   

A related trend that schools, in particular parochial schools, who are aiming to recruit Chinese high school students should consider is the increasing group of young parents who, per China Daily writer Dong Fangyu, “are exploring new ways of raising children by paying greater attention to their personality and character building.” As society and the economy changes, moral education and spiritual psychology are receiving increasing attention. Professor Zhang Zhigang of the Shanghai Education Commission discusses these changes, the renewed attention to key virtues espoused by Confucianism, and the impact of the One-Child Generation on society and psychology in his thought-provoking article, “The Development of Moral Education in China.”