British ed providers in China hit with revenue losses, staff shortages

Around half of the companies surveyed saw a drop in revenue of less than 50%, while 17.24% saw a decrease of 76% or more.

“The organisations that suffered the most were those that support schools such as after school activities, tutoring centres, school enrichment, summer courses and school supplies,” said Venture Education’s Julian Fisher.

“In many cases their survival will depend on being able to open this summer”

“In many cases, their survival will depend on being able to open this summer to welcome students starved of human contact outside their family and eager to engage with their peers.”

Fisher further noted that schools were faced with an average of 40% of their staff not being in China – which in some cases totalled more than 100 teachers per school.

“This issue was slightly compounded both when the FCO advised all Brits to leave China and the Chinese government later said they did not want schools to encourage teachers to return,” Fisher added.

“Now that schools have their students back, this is causing major issues.”

Non-Chinese nationals cannot currently enter the country and centres abroad that process work visas remain closed.

In the ESL industry, in particular, Covid-19 has brought to the fore many of the issues that the industry is facing including financial issues, oversupply and staffing shortages.

However, English teachers already in China and not subject to the travel ban are anticipating being able to negotiate much higher salaries when many of their contracts end this summer.

One bilingual school in Wuhan was spotted advertising salaries of 32,000RMB (£3,600) per month in a city where the average salary for ESL teachers is normally around 8,500RMB (£970).

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