StuComm on trade mission to China
StuComm’s goal, allowing Dutch students to study barrier-free, has been obsolete for a long time. Our dream is to help students worldwide to be successful. To do so, Ronald Kouvelt (CEO) and Edwin Flooren (CFO), went on a trade mission outside the European borders. Destination: China. With “education” as theme of the trade mission, StuComm was asked by the Utrecht Region to be part of this trade mission.
Why this trade mission?
Ronald: “Our goal is to help students worldwide be successful, including in China. The trade mission was a great opportunity for us to learn about how education is organized in China, what we can learn from it and what we could possibly do for Chinese education.”
Who did you talk to?
Edwin: “We have spoken with a number of dignitaries and various educational institutions. Very interesting! Very different from in the Netherlands.”
And? What did you learn about Chinese education?
Edwin: “It is quite a culture shock compared to the Netherlands and, for example, England, where we have recently been active. The education is very different. You get a high sense of hierarchy, more than in the Netherlands. More is being imposed on students.”
Ronald: “Exactly! Also, campus is organized differently than in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, housing is a major problem for students. In China, all facilities can be found on campus. You also hear different things in terms of your relationship with home. On the one hand, you hear that the distances between campus and home are too long, resulting in most students staying on campus, even during weekends. On the other hand, you hear that the prices of houses in the regions around educational institutions are extremely high; if you live outside that area you are not allowed to go to the educational institution.”
What is positive about Chinese education?
Ronald: “There is absolutely no student dropout. While dropout is high in for example the Netherlands and England, no student quits their education in China. One of the things causing this, is the high quality of education in China. There are relatively many high educated people who make this possible.”
Edwin: “In addition, it is nice to see how close the ties are with business. This is partly due to the fact that both education and business are controlled by the government. It is good to see that students have the opportunity to get to know the way business works.”
What could be better?
Edwin: “A cultural thing, the way people treat each other. There are no dropouts, but much is imposed from above, giving you the impression that there is little freedom for students. Perhaps there are possibilities there.”
What is the next step for StuComm when it comes to China?
Ronald: “We are now going to take our time to evaluate our trip. We have spoken with many people who showed interest and asked questions about what we do and how we work. It is important for us to see whether there are opportunities and how we could make the most of these.”