Industry News: China’s tuition ban diminishes demand for ESL teachers, but Hong Kong is not affected

7 Sep 2021 | ESLteachers

The education industry in China has long been hyper-competitive, allowing ‘cram schools’ and tuition centres in the private sector to flourish for many years. Language training, which has provided substantial job opportunities for ESL/TEFL teachers, was one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative segments in the tutoring scene in China. But things are about to change, as the Chinese government announced its new rules which bar the provision of off-campus tuition by for-profit institutions. The move was announced in part as a measure to reduce pressure and financial burdens on parents and students.

Under the new ban, the provision of holiday and weekend tutoring will no longer be allowed, and local authorities will no longer approve the establishment of new tuition centres. For preschoolers, the new rule prohibits any form of tutoring, such as English teaching, under the name of ‘mind training’. It also deters after-school education for high school students.

These new rules in China anticipate a dropping demand for foreign teachers in the country. However, for ESL teachers who are discouraged from teaching in China because of this, it is worth noting that this recent policy only applies to Mainland China. As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong remains unaffected.

If you currently teach or are planning to teach in China, but are now worried that the private tuition ban may hurt your job prospects, we’d encourage you to consider Hong Kong. Hong Kong is not only a great place to experience Chinese cultural heritage (if that’s what interests you), but also a city where many expat teachers continue to thrive and enjoy abundant job opportunities.