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The Beijing Overseas Study Service Association COVID-19 Report

Published Bernice on Thursday, March 5, 2020

BOSSA Coronavirus report

The Beijing Overseas Study Service Association has commissioned a report on the impacts caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. BOSSA & COSSA, China’s international education industry association, surveyed its Chinese education agencies members; from flagship corporations (New Oriental, AOJI, JJL, EIC) to small-medium enterprises, private consultants, language schools, international departments of schools, and others.

With China being the leading country of origin of students abroad (662,100 in 2018) the Coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan Virus or COViD-19, is especially impacting the Chinese international education sector. In this questionnaire survey, BOSSA conducted a detailed investigation on response measures, most troubling findings and needs of desired help and support, from various overseas study abroad agencies facing the epidemic situation. The majority of Chinese students use a study abroad intermediary (education agent) and BOSSA- COSSA agent members account for two-thirds of all Chinese students sent abroad.
 
China’s International Education Industry is one of the most affected sectors by the outbreak. With confidence in the future of study abroad industry being challenged, BOSSA shares its informational resources to support and encourage its China education agency members, to help overcome difficulties caused by quarantines, travel bans, and overall disruption of business. 
 
The main points that emerge from this report are the following:
  1. The novel coronavirus outbreak seriously affects business operation models of Chinese student recruiting agencies. 86%  of Agencies resumed work but via telecommuting.
  2. The epidemic has invariably  caused 40% - 60% of students to  be directly affected in college  application, visa applications, and in country exit and entry.
  3. Negative feelings of study abroad  industry in 2020 are prevailing. 66% of the agencies forecast a decline in students going abroad this year as a result of COVid-19.
  4. Studying abroad is a long-term plan and the overall trend of overseas enrollment will not change. 64% of agencies reflected students won’t change their original plans to study abroad.
  5. Summer time short-term programmes are considered the most impaired. 83% of agencies believe summer camp recruitment and preparation is affected in 2020.

The survey was conducted by BOSSA’s leadership team and the results represent the views of Chinese student recruitment/education agency members across China. Members include flagship agencies (New Oriental, AOJI, JJL, EIC) (5%), large-scale agencies (20%), medium-scale agencies (40%) and small- scale or studio agencies (35%) which offers studying abroad, language training and other services where locates in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shandong and other provinces across China.

When asked about how agencies are responding to the current epidemic situation, agencies replied that " Work is generally carried out online,  to strengthen or implement strategy of online business model." They also said that they are "paying close attention to official reports and institute’s information, communicate with the schools/universities/partners, endeavor the delay of application and admission deadline, deliver feedback to students and parents in time." On top of that, agencies said that they best they can do, given the situation, is to "take a wait-and-see approach".

What support methods are Chinese agents expecting from overseas educators?

  1. Postponing the deadline of application, admission and registration, as well as provide online credit courses.
  2. Allowing the application to be submitted first, then resubmitting additional material and documents if the situations allows for it.
  3. Providing online admissions and interviews.
  4. Treating Chinese students fairly and eliminating discriminatory behaviour.

BOSSA-COSSA can be reached here.

 



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