Will Chinese Students Return to International Fashion Schools? | China Decoded, BoF Professional

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Will Chinese Students Return to International Fashion Schools? | China Decoded, BoF Professional

Campuses of fashionSchools around the globe have been unusually quiet in the past year as students and teachers moved online.

But in China, the opposite was true, with schools across the country operating as normal and some reporting an overwhelming increase in demand from domestic students unable — or unwilling — to wait and see when previously preferred international institutions would resume normal operations.

“We have seen our numbers increase by a lot,”Matteo Lenzotti fashion designco-ordinator, Istituto Marangoni Shanghai. “A lot of these students, we were afraid that when the borders reopened they would want to go somewhere else, but most of them, they want to stay here.”

Lenzotti stated that the school’s ability to meet the needs of local students was particularly appealing, and offered understanding in a way that is difficult to replicate in schools abroad.

“[It’s mainly about] making them feel like their culture matters,” Lenzotti explained. “Often Chinese students, when they go abroad, if they want to do something traditional it’s not necessarily going to be well-understood.”

The global pandemic has made it much easier to do what was inevitable.

Some are within the Chinese fashionThe education sector believes that the pandemic is merely speeding up a process already in motion.

Local fashionSchools are improving their designEducation offerings with innovative new programs and international schools are partnering or opening their own local campuses to offer a domestic version their internationally renowned education offerings fashionProgrammes. As they do, the default choice is to move abroad as a necessary step in the path to a successful career. fashionThe career path becomes more complex.

“The automatic thought that ‘I’ve got to go international to get a good education’ is reducing. It’s still there, but it’s not getting bigger, that’s the reality,” said Simon Collins, ex-dean at Parsons School of Design and current visiting professor at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

A Trend That Is Already In Use

The Chinese student population was at the top of the charts before the pandemic. fashionSchools varied from 10 to 20 percent depending on the institution.

More broadly, education non-profit NAFSA estimated that between 2017 and 2018, Chinese students contributed $13 billion to the US economy, while Chinese state media China Daily reported that they spend an average of £2 billion ($2.4 billion) in the UK every year.

However, the pandemic was already affecting international student populations in China, especially in the US. The pandemic “has really expedited what was going to be inevitable,”Carol Kim, senior vice president for enrolment and strategic partnerships at The New School, said this.

“My belief is that students will not always travel abroad, especially when Chinese universities are getting so much global attention, they are rising in the rankings,”She added that she spoke to employers in China who primarily focus on recruiting from schools within the country, as they believe those who have studied abroad will need a job. “transition period”To understand the local market.

Shanghai is also a cool place, it’s not just London or Paris or Milan.

There’s also the rise of Chinese pride, especially among the country’s young people. This has been a major force in fashionParallel to the rise in Chinese consumer power and industry bellwethers like Shanghai Fashion Week, where Chinese designers are not only starring on the catwalk, but also proving to be a hot property for buyers at concurrently-running showrooms.

“There’s more of an international vibe in the design scene in Shanghai and potential students also see that and it makes them feel Shanghai is also a cool place, it’s not just London or Paris or Milan,” Lenzotti said.

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He said that there have been growing concerns about safety for Chinese students who are considering studying abroad. Stop AAPI Hate, a group that monitors anti-Asian discrimination in America, has compiled a list of almost 3,800 instances of anti-Asian discrimination in America since the outbreak of the pandemic. Many of these incidents made national headlines in China. Social media is full of anti-Asian, particularly anti-Chinese sentiments in the west. This complicates the decision to leave home to pursue an education.

Domestic Design Education gets a push

China has been home to many since long. fashionAnd design courses, with bachelor’s programmes from institutions such as Tsinghua and the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in the country’s capital, Donghua and Tongji Universities in Shanghai, Chongqing’s Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Hangzhou’s China Academy of Art and the Wuhan Textile University acting as feeders for master’s programmes at renowned international institutions such as Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion or Parsons School of Design.

The problem has always been that China is so large fashionEducation is either very academic or highly vocational with little emphasis on creativity. design. Today, there is a large push to improve Chinese overall quality. fashionEducation.

There is strong evidence that there is an effort to raise standards.

“There’s clear evidence of a political driver and institutional, central support and funding for improving fashion education as we know it,”Patrick Gottelier is a master of apparel design and product design at Shanghai DeTao Masters Academy. They offer advanced undergraduate programmes in a variety of subjects. designIn conjunction with the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, disciplines can be offered.

Carole Kim observed the same push by China at a government-level, which in a country as China carries a significant weight, and greatly improves chances of an ambition becoming reality.

“I do believe there is a great desire from China to build its own design schools and really wanting the students to stay,”She added that the pandemic and the “not-so-wonderful relationship between the Chinese and US governments”This makes it more urgent.

Collins has also seen how Chinese institutions are raising standards. Collins describes a new program at Tsinghua where executives from Kering will guide students through the process to build a brand.

“Creative education has to have industry relevance,”He said. “To me it’s very clear, there are certain things you go overseas for and those things can’t be replicated here. Other things you can get just as easily here. If you dream of working for Gucci and at Tsinghua they might notice you, that’s [an advantage] compared to Parsons.”

The Future Outlook

These changes could create a serious problem for international organizations fashion schools, if they don’t make moves to meet the students they want, where those students want to be. However, it is also a chance for those who are willing to make the shift.

International fashionSchools have already opened campuses in China and are now partnering more closely to Chinese institutions.

Parsons has, for instance, forged partnerships with schools in China to provide students who are unable to travel to New York or Paris. Students also had the opportunity to take online classes while they were there. The school has also been invited by the Shenzhen government to open a branch campus in conjunction with existing partner Shenzhen University, though Kim said Parsons’ board has yet to approve the new addition. Parsons would be joining Istituto Marangoni in opening a Chinese campus. It already has a campus in Shanghai, and another in Shenzhen, in 2016, and Esmod Paris, which has branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Beijing in 2016.

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A proliferation of new partnerships and schools in China offering high-quality opportunities for a larger number of students means more Chinese students (some of whom might have found the cost of international studies prohibitive) will be able to access international-standard fashionEducation without leaving your home fashionSchools will be able reach a greater number of students.

However, the world’s top schools will likely be able to retain demand among Chinese students, particularly as in-person classes return once again in the fall.

“I don’t believe we will see a drastic number of students choosing to stay in China if they are accepted to the number one fashion school in the world,”Kim said.

For many schools, however, the struggle for Chinese students will be more intense. Schools around the world will have more to offer than being. “international”To attract a new group of Chinese students. The practice of using Chinese students to raise revenue must end.

“Some universities in the UK have ended up with far too many Chinese students as a mix in the cohort, so students turn up in the UK and spend all of their time with their Chinese community and they’re not… getting the experience they should be of studying in an international cohort,” Gottelier said. “I think that will, over time, be recognised as not being good value for money.”



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China Decoded is interested in hearing from you. Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to our Shanghai-based Asia Correspondent [email protected]

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