Boom in demand for children’s art education in China

Photo: UI International Programs (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Art education is on the rise in China. Once seen as “dispensable”, art education is now viewed upon as a “just need” by the central government.

Several national Chinese policies support and encourage art training as an important part of quality education, reported Finn-Sino’s Chinese media partner, Rayee ACE. 

The Chinese State Council’s document ”Opinions on Comprehensively Strengthening and Improving School Aesthetic Education in the New Era” from October last year, stated that the aesthetic education curriculum of Chinese schools should be based on courses in subjects such as music, art, calligraphy, dance, drama, opera, film and television.  

”Focus is on stimulating the students’ artistic interest and innovative consciousness,” the paper said, adding that students would receive help “mastering one or two artistic specialties.” 

Moreover, art subjects will be included in the pilot reform of the high school entrance examination, the Chinese Ministry of Education announced. At present, many provinces and cities have already included art courses in the scope of the high school entrance examination. 

Growth in demand for children’s art education 
According to data released by Analysys, China’s art training market was in 2019 worth 214.96 billion yuan (27.4 billion euros), and is expected to reach 298.94 billion yuan (38.1 billion euros) by 2022, with a three-year compound growth rate of 11.6 percent. 

China’s second-child policy has expanded the market for children’s art training. With the full opening of the second-child policy, five to six million more births will take place in China each year, which is expected to bring a 9.667 billion yuan (1.23 billion euros) market expansion to the entire basic art education market every year. 

Surveys also showed that Chinese parents prioritise art as an important part of their children’s education, and this trend is expected to continue.  

The future development trend of children’s art education and training 
According to the report from Rayee ACE, the Chinese art training industry is still in the early stages of development. As Chinese people’s living standards continue to improve, however, the new generation of parents’ demand for high-quality curriculum products will grow, and children’s art education and training will surely be subject to upgrading and transformation in the future. 

The following three trends are likely to be prominent in the future Chinese market of art education: 

1. Branded institutions will seize the opportunity to achieve expansion through mergers and acquisitions + franchise 
Educational institutions with a strong brand are more likely to gain the trust of parents and children in the competitive Chinese art training market. This is in large part due to their strong standardization and transparency of fees.  

On the other hand, local franchisees also hope to enhance their competitiveness through brand franchising. Local franchisees are keen to cooperate with branded educational institutions to enhance their brand image and boost their local competitiveness also in China’s lower-tier cities.  

2. Art training and marketing offline and online 
From the perspective of teaching modes, the ”offline training + online marketing” model will become a trend, foresees Rayee ACE. Institutions will be required to provide high-quality offline services, while online platforms allow users to choose service scenarios more conveniently.  

3. Education institutions will become ”precise and specialised” 
The continuous improvement of the living standards of Chinese people will give more and more art lovers the chance to seek professional art guidance to advance their artistic literacy and achieve self-improvement. The extensive development model of ”small but scattered” in the art training industry will be replaced by ”precise and specialised”.