Opportunities For Law Schools In China Grow With Newly Enacted Legislation

Is this the future of the law. More private law schools in China investing in web2.0 law and training lawyers to be technologists as well as being advocates.

We’re not sure but with new legislation enacted in China with regard to the development of private universities we’d suggest there’s a lot of opportunities for law schools from around the world who want to look at a new way of educating future lawyers.

And.. remembering in the end they’ll be quasi-lawyers. We doubt  the party will offer  prospective law schools the opportunity to develop rights based courses or even constitutional for that matter.


The FT Reports

A new law which took effect in September is generating a wave of investor interest in China’s higher education sector. The law, enacted by China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress last November, lets universities and high-schools establish themselves as for-profits for the first time.

All providers operating in the K-9 space must continue to remain non-profit. This is the last major sector of China’s economy to be commercialised, following close on the heels of the health sector overhaul. Like every other country in the world, China is struggling to close skills gaps in the labour market and to equip its youth with the knowledge they need to thrive in a global economy.

Demand for higher education outstrips supply. China’s public universities are already heavily subsidised and the government has limited room to increase public spending. The new law is aimed at attracting private investment needed to expand access to relevant skills and training.

With their close links to industry, many private universities are more responsive to labour market evolutions and have skills-based curriculums.

The opportunity for growth is vast. Today, China’s private tertiary education industry is small, underinvested, and fragmented. Overall, higher education spending is about $149bn, about $135bn of which is financed by the public purse, and the remainder from the private sector.

Some 29m Chinese are enrolled in some form of higher education, of which only about 6.3m are enrolled in private universities, a number expected to hit 8m by 2021, according to a Frost and Sullivan report.

Although small, private higher education is growing fast — 8.2 per cent a year — compared with 6.5 per cent annual growth in the public sector, according to government statistics. With 40 per cent of China’s high-school graduates going on to university (either public or private), its tertiary enrolment ratio exceeds the global average of 37 per cent, Unesco figures show.

It outperforms India, at 27 per cent, but lags behind many middle-income countries in other world regions, such as in Latin America (Colombia stands at 47 per cent). Allowing private universities to operate as for-profit institutions will make it easier for them to raise finance from capital markets and expand, including through M&A activities. Historically these institutions had to be registered as non-profits, limiting avenues for both debt and equity funding. There have already been several successful initial public offerings over the past six months. In March, Minsheng Education, one of the top 10 private universities for enrolments, with more than 30,000 students, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. IFC became a cornerstone investor in Minsheng, taking a $25m equity stake.

Minsheng is based in Chongqing, a city of 30m people. Because of this supportive policy change, the highly fragmented private education sector has begun to consolidate, facilitated by mergers and acquisitions among the large education groups.

The new law gives for-profit higher education providers full autonomy in setting tuition fees. Currently, the government has a say over fees. It also strengthens the ownership rights of for-profit providers by granting them full freedom to dispose of their assets should their schools cease operating, a freedom they do not presently enjoy. Further, it will allow the for-profit institutions to declare dividends legally. Most of the investors availing themselves of the opportunities provided by the new law are Chinese. ..

More at  https://www.ft.com/content/16c777f0-be62-11e7-9836-b25f8adaa111