"Like millions of Chinese university students, Li Hao has enrolled in
all kinds of traditional tutoring classes to sharpen his English skills
during vacations. But not this summer." continues Shanghai Daily.
Li registered for online courses to prepare for a TOEFL exam. "Going online means a flexible schedule, affordable price and more options," Li says.
Like a growing number of young Chinese, he is eschewing the rigid teaching style, fixed schedules and costs of bricks-and-mortar tuition in favor of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Over the past decade, soaring office rents and labor costs have challenged the traditional education model.
Diverse learning needs, including smaller class sizes and tailored services, have propped up the online education industry.
China's education market will transform in the next three to five years, with "40 percent online and 60 percent offline," forecasts Yu Minhong, CEO of New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NOETG), a listed education company.
Meanwhile, the government is building the Open University of China, enabling students to earn qualifications online, and the Ministry of Education is asking key universities to offer MOOCs supported by subsidies under the National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020).
According to the Report on the Diversification of China' s Education Industry 2014 issued by Deloitte, China has seen 2.3 online education startups spring up every day in the year to the end of March 2014 and the market was worth 80 billion yuan last year.
Since 2012, overseas online education providers, including Coursera, Udacity and Lynda, have gained momentum in China, while domestic platforms like Netease Open Courses, Duobei.com and SmartStudy.com have jumped on the bandwagon.
Wei Xiaoliang worked as a tutor and a course manager in NOETG for nine years. In 2014, he created SmartStudy.com and 20 expert tutors left NOETG and joined his company within a month. Li Hao was a student and keen fan of Wei's courses in NOETG and enrolled in his online TOEFL Speaking and Writing Courses on SmartStudy.com.
Source: Shanghai Daily