Matchmaking: How International Online Education Search Services Could Approach the Chinese Market?
Abstract: Many Chinese students seek an international education and they are often a target for international universities. These universities utilize online platforms for advertising to reach students. Various domestic and international intermediaries join to facilitate this online informing as well. On the market combined of the universities and the intermediaries, the online education search service is one of the most popular witnesses. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the gap between Chinese students and the existing market, and to express how international online education search services should best approach the market. Key value propositions will also be formulated to detail these international services. The research method in this thesis is qualitative, and based on a case study of an international company in Sweden. This company is active in the online education search service and interested in the Chinese market. The case study comprises a pilot launch in China, as well as qualitative semi-structured interviews with employees within the company and with sample students in China. Two additional expert interviews have been conducted external to the case company, in order to increase the reliability of the study. The analysis of this empirical material in conjunction with the literature leads to my conclusion that Chinese students favor complete resources and integrated information, as well as a combination of online and offline practices. Furthermore, the Business Model Canvas is utilized as a theoretical foundation for investigating relevant elements of the value propositions. Finally, I propose a model of approach in both theoretical and practical formats to guide how international online education search services should approach the Chinese market.
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