Teaching English in China

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New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE: EDU), China’s largest provider of private educational services, and McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a leading global financial information and education company, have formed a Chinese educational JV, which has the potential to accelerate the internationalization and global competitiveness of China’s workforce.

The strategic partnership will operate MaxEn Centers, offering premier, after-school programs for students ranging in age from 4 to 15. The programs will provide English language and cultural training, enabling its students to fit in high schools and universities almost anywhere around the world. Students that go through the program and leverage international opportunities will have a pathway to higher paying jobs, and potentially see better employment prospects with the growing number of multinational firms in China. The big picture is that the program will provide 21st century skills critical to the development of China’s work force, and that should have a positive impact on the global competitiveness of Chinese businesses.

The announcement of the JV was made at the NYSE. Speaking with FOX Business on the Trading Floor, Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of McGraw-Hill, called this an exciting opportunity to participate in China’s “huge” and fast growing $286 billion educational services market. Driven not only by government spending, the market, which he also described as “red hot,” has seen a dramatic increase in private spending among urban households on education in China.

Michael Yu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of New Oriental Education, joined Chairman McGraw in addressing English and Chinese speaking audiences through interviews with reporters from Phoenix TV (China), and Wall St. Multimedia (China).

After the Closing Bell, I had an opportunity to talk very briefly with Chairman Yu. He spoke confidently about the JV’s potential, as it combines McGraw-Hill’s world’s best educational content with New Oriental’s market access through its channels in China, which include over 400 learning centers. Chairman Yu also noted New Oriental’s ability to attract the best qualified teachers, an indispensible asset for a learning center.

New Oriental has seen its market capitalization climb to $4.3 billion from $529 million, an increase of over 800% based on its IPO price in September 2006. In this turbulent year, its ADR price has increased almost 5% and average daily value of trading in its ADR is over $42 million (through 11/09).

Some describe The New York Stock Exchange as an international community where current and future customers and partners of listed companies can connect and even help each other grow their respective businesses. With strong vision and a proactive approach, it can and does happen.

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