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Henry Xia, Beijing Oxbridge Education & Development Co. Ltd, China

Henry Xia runs the Overseas Home Club division of one of the large Chinese education agencies, helping prospective international students connect with Chinese graduates of their chosen institution. As the agency widens its scope, with a new real estate arm for example, The PIE News spoke to Henry about business in China.

 

"How can we know the school exactly… we have to find the right person"

The PIE News: What is the name of the division at Beijing Oxbridge Education & Development Co. that you run?

Henry Xia: We call it Overseas Home Club and I am the General Manager. It started in September 2017.

The PIE: Okay, and what was the theory around it developing it?

HX: We are connecting with alumni from universities [overseas] or students studying on campus. Students, professors, and alumni and that kind of people. We are developing them and [as] we know more and more: we let them to help our students who are going to go abroad for their future studies. I think that this is the perfect profile of person to help our students.

The PIE: Why do they choose to get involved if they already had studied abroad? Why do they want to help new students?

HX: Why do they want to help?

The PIE: Yes, how do you make them help?

HX: We pay them. You know, we have a good reputation and when students come to us, we recommend schools to them and we help them with their application for the schools. So, first of all we have to know the schools overseas, we have to know the schools exactly. If we do not know the school exactly how can we recommend them to our students?

“If we do not know the school exactly how can we recommend them to our students?”

How can we know the school exactly… we have to find the right person. Then, on one hand they can promote schools, on the other hand they can help us to tell our students what the school is like, what life is like. They really experience the life.

The PIE: You were explaining that Oxbridge has become more sophisticated with many divisions.. one of them is helping Chinese students buy property right?

HX: Yes, many students when they get the admission letter and visa and they are ready to go, some students will go with their family. Their parents will go with them to school… they won’t always stay with them, but they want to be able go there and see their kids.

Because they have the ability to buy a house there, why not get a house there? So they’re not renting a house or apartment. So, when they are ready to go they are consulting us and say do you have the ability to help us to get an apartment or house there.

So, at the beginning we helped them, they have no idea about that. Later we set up a division or a department to do that and we will help our students buy some overseas real estate.

The PIE: Is it in particular cities where you offer help?

Henry: Yes, we have to find some other party to help us do that, like a broker.

The PIE: So, in which cities do you offer this at the moment?

HX: Many cities. It depends on the request of our students. We cannot cover all the cities but, if the student come to us and says I have some request in one city – we will get some information, we will get some resources in that city.

The PIE: Okay, and did you tell me you also have an office in Los Angeles as well?

HX: Yes. We have some, like I said, overseas real estate and immigrant services, so we have another law firm in our LA office. They help our clients with [migration services].

The PIE:  It sounds like such a sophisticated business now.

HX: Yes, we have language training, immigration services, overseas study consulting, travel-and-study, loan financing, that kind of thing.

“Later we set up a division or a department to do that and we will help our students buy some overseas real estate”

The PIE: You have students who use loan financing?

HX: Not financing as such, property management – we will do that for them. They have to sometimes relocate their property because, you cannot put all eggs in one basket, right?

The PIE: Right, so, you are managing property for some of your clients…

HX: For immigrant clients…

The PIE: So, the ones who want to relocate semi-permanently?

HX: Yes.

The PIE: Okay, and how many students a year does Oxbridge work with?

HX: More than 3,000 students to the US, to the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and some to Europe. Mainly to the US, UK, Canada, Australia.

The PIE: Okay, and is business continuing to grow?

HX: Yes, it is growing but the competition is growing more here, so we have to do some revolution for ourselves. If we do not do that, other people will do that and kick us out of the market. If we want to survive in this competition, we have to do something new that nobody has done before. We have to do it.

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