SHANGHAI: Foreign educational institutions are holding seminars and exhibitions to lure more Chinese youngsters to study abroad.
They are being helped by local educational consulting agencies as more parents are eager to send their children abroad.
"We have held six exhibitions this month and attracted about 100 foreign institutions and more than 1,000 students to the events," Jiao Yuying, press officer of the Zhejiang New Orient International Consulting Co, based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, said.
Zhejiang is one of the largest recruiting centers for overseas studies because of its booming economy.
"June and August is the peak period. We have received about 210 enquires from foreign universities so far this year. The figure was 180 last year," Jiao said.
He said as foreign universities look to increase their intake, more are looking to Chinese students, he said.
More than 1,000 students have gone abroad to study through New Orient so far this year, up 30 percent over the same period last year.
Hu Fei, who runs an architectural design institute in Hangzhou, plans to send her son to the United States for studies next summer.
"I have confidence in the Western system, which focuses on an all-round education. I believe my son will benefit," she said.
Like many, Hu is a thrifty parent, but when it comes her son's education, no expense is spared.
She has just paid more than 20,000 yuan ($3,000) for a one-month English course at Hangzhou's New Oriental School, for her 18-year-old only son. She wants him to improve his English skills in order to take the TOFEL and SAT exams.
Hu has also set aside a good deal of her savings for her son's further education.
"It will cost at least 1.6 million yuan for his four-year college education overseas," Hu said. "It is worth it."
Hu is only one of such parents willing to spend large sums of money on their children's education.
Affluent people in Hangzhou are more inclined to invest in education when compared with such cities as Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu, Xiao Mingchao, deputy general manager of Sinomonitor International, a Beijing-based research company, said.
"The city's super rich are family-oriented and therefore more willing to invest in their children," Xiao said.
Shinyway International, the largest overseas study agency in Zhejiang, said more than 1,000 students used its services to study abroad. It too, registered 30 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Teng Wenzheng, Shinway's director of overseas planning center, said: "Owners of companies, most of whom are not well educated, are eager to send their children abroad.
"Many believe that well educated children with an international vision, will help globalize their businesses."
Statistics show that the average cost for a four-year high school education in the US costs between 250,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan per year.--By Zhou Yan (China Daily)