We are really excited to announce our next hackathon, held on May 5th and 6th in Chengdu, where student teams will work with real estate and education executives to create an Education Hub business plan.
For many Chinese families, it is believed that a good education is the best path for social mobility. It is closely related to one’s well-being, through higher income and social status, both of which are believed to be key to success.
Currently, compared to the rural areas, cities in China have clear competitive advantage in education resources: Schools in urban cities have more experienced teachers, better facilities and equipment as well as a better-developed curriculum. However, the abundant education resources in urban cities are not allocated evenly. Children can only attend schools in their neighborhood, which means their house is in close proximity to their school.
This has triggered sky-high prices of housing near top schools.
A bungalow near to Beijing No.2 Experimental Primary School can be sold at the price of 400,000 yuan/square meter. To send their children to top schools, parents spend a large portion of their family’s savings to buy a “school district property”, or force their children to attend various training courses to potentially become the top 1% students that enrolls into top schools. Education is now a pain point for many Chinese parents.
Efforts of the Real Estate Industry
Since education is a key decision factor for many tenants, the real estate industry is now transforming their community development model to provide better education resources to attract tenants.
A couple of examples highlight this:
- Taoyuan Community (桃源居) brought Tsinghua Experimental Middle School, a top middle school, into their community, which provided 7000 families with higher quality education;
- Shi Mao Corporation created the concept of a “A Photosynthesized Education Community”, which aims to create an education ecosystem where everyone in the community is immersed in an educational atmosphere, soaking up knowledge just like how plants absorb sunlight for photosynthesis;
- Vanke’s V-learn educational center provides community education for people for all ages and a family entertainment center;
- Gemdale Corporation’s Gemdale education cloud plan aims to develop the online and offline education for the community to pique children’s interests, help them realize their potential, and help them build stamina.
The forerunners of the real estate industry are beginning to transform and upgrade, investing largely on the development of the community’s education. These upgrades have been, to date, incremental and driven more by real estate economics than by disruption of the challenges the education system is facing.
Opportunities and Challenges
Early efforts of the real estate industry initially gave hope to thousands of parents who dreamed of having access to high top quality schools and teachers at their doorstep, but there were many obstacles during the execution of these plans.
Some of them included securing the starting capital and the maintenance of students and teachers enrollment, which led to many projects closing down or pivoting away from their original mission. Shi Mao Corporation’s “A Photosynthesized Education Community” is one example. Despite efforts to develop the project, in Hefei, Hangzhou and Nanjing, the projects began to fail as the APP did not solve the pain point of the market.
For others, like our client Vincci, the process is shifting from using a traditional “build it and they will come” mindset to getting out into the community, leveraging the tools of human-centered design to understand the needs of their communities, and then bringing together the solutions with partners.
In taking this path, answering several critical questions will be critical to their success:
- What are the educational needs and wants of the community?
- How can the education experience be adapted and personalized to different consumer archetypes?
- How can the real estate industry transform their business model to provide better education resources?
With that, we hope that you will consider joining this fantastic event: an event where students will be able to put into practice their academic theories, leverage their imagination, and bring a solution to the market that solves on of the most critical challenges China is facing!
These are questions that innovators at Vincci Group want to understand when developing a new top quality educational hub.
In partnership with Vincci Group, we are hosting a hackathon to seek solutions for China’s education challenge.
We need you to provide insights, ideate and design the ultimate user experience and journey.