BEIJING, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- ChinaCast Education Corporation ("ChinaCast" or the "Company"; Nasdaq: CAST), a leading for-profit, post-secondary education and e-learning service provider in China, today provided a summary of its Second Annual Education and Investor Conference held in Guilin, China from October 12-14, 2010.
Over 120 participants attended the conference comprising of government officials, investors, analysts, partner university representatives from multiple countries including China, the United States, and Canada. With the conference being held in Guilin proper, the meeting included a visit to one of the Company's three accredited universities, The Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University.
The objectives of the conference were to provide education partners, investors, and industry analysts an overview of the status and future trends in the PRC post-secondary education sector. At the same time, there was a desire to provide a forum for global education partnerships and to provide a more in-depth understanding of the Company's lines of business, financial performance, and corporate strategy. The event included presentations from PRC government representatives, global educational partners, and by ChinaCast management.
Key topics discussed included a comparison of the PRC and US education sectors, noting that PRC government expenditure on education was approximately 3.8% of GDP, about half the 7.5% of GDP spent in the U.S. At the same time, it was noted that only 5% of China's population has a 4 year college degree as compared to over 25% in the United States and other Western countries. As China creates a new generation of higher-skilled workers, the government has an ambitious goal to almost double the penetration rate for post-secondary students from 22% today to 40% by 2020. When successful with these projections, there will be created an increasingly important role for private investment, online education, and global education partnerships in the PRC's post-secondary education sector.
"We are pleased that our Second Annual Education and Investor Conference was well attended and provided a thorough overview of the post-secondary education sector in China for our attendees," said Ron Chan, ChinaCast Education Chairman and CEO. "We appreciated the opportunity to include an update to our investors and educational partners on our strategy and growth opportunities, and to introduce them to some of our high caliber students at Lijiang College. We would like to thank our speakers and attendees, and look forward to continuing our dialogue with investors in the future."
The following speeches were given at the conference and the available presentations are posted on the Company's investor relations website, www.chinacasteducation.com:
1) "Characteristic Development - The Vitality of Higher Education", Professor Yang Ruifeng, China National Center for Education Development, Ministry of Education
Professor Yang Ruifeng discussed issues of "Characteristic Development" for China's schools, describing the need for private schools in China to provide students with education and character development opportunities beyond those typically provided by traditional educators in China.
2) "The Future of SINO-US Student Exchange Programs", Dr. Carolyn Bishop, President of the Consortium of Global Education
Dr. Bishop, spoke on the future direction of Sino-US exchange programs and the need for students in both the USA and PRC to have a more international perspective.
3) "30 Years of Working Experience in China", Dr. Joyce Strawser, Associate Professor, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University
Dr. Strawser spoke on the experience of Seton Hall University working in collaboration with universities in China to develop programs and student exchanges.
4) "E-Learning in the US - Present and Future", Dr. Chen Lin Sun, Visiting Scholar, Harvard University and Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
Dr. Chen spoke on the evolution of e-learning in the US, what is working and what is not. He also discussed how these success stories could be applied in China to improve quality and expand access to less developed areas.
5) "Challenges of Establishing an Articulation Agreement with Chinese Universities", Dr. Rick Gregory, Vice President, Dallas Baptist University
Dr. Gregory, discussed issues and challenges when establishing successful articulation agreements with Chinese universities including accreditation, in-class hours spent, reciprocity of credits, pricing, etc. He emphasized the need to develop global leaders ready to face the challenges of our increasingly global market as individuals need to be prepared to learn from and live in other cultures.
6) "A Higher Standard of University Education", Dr. Donald Gardner, Director of International Academic Affairs, ChinaCast Education
Dr. Gardner spoke on ChinaCast's goals for bringing international undergraduate, post-graduate and continuing education programs to its universities in China as partnering with overseas partners was stressed. An emphasis on "student character development" was seen as paramount to creating higher standards of education.
7) "Developments in For-Profit, Post-Secondary Education", Mr. Michael Santos, President-International, ChinaCast Education Corporation
Mr. Santos gave an overview of the growth of the PRC and US post-secondary education sectors and contrasted the differences between public and private non-profit schooling. He also presented for-profit models of education in terms of target students, their different roles in educating society, and their business models. Mr. Santos then discussed the Company's plans to target future opportunities in online and international education in China.
8) "Panel Discussion: The System, Philosophy and Internationalization of Private University Education in China", Hosted by Dr. Donald Gardner
The panel consisted of Prof. Xu Peihua, Director, Fudan University Center for Chinese Business Studies; Prof. Xu Haining, President, School of International Business, Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade; Prof. Huang Yaoqing, Advisor, The Foreign Trade and Business College of Chongqing Normal University; and Dr. Carolyn Bishop, President, Consortium of Global Education. Discussion topic examples included the need for further reform in the PRC post-secondary education pedagogy to match the needs of the job market, character development in Chinese schools, and the need for increased critical thinking skills within students.
The second day of the conference moved to ChinaCast's university in Guilin, the Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University. The conference attendees were given a tour of the university followed by the presentations below:
9) "The Future Development of E-learning in China", Prof. Qi Gao, President, China University of Petroleum
Prof. Qi discussed CUPs online and distance education experience and the vast potential for growth, especially in the sector of adult continuing education. The market for e-learning is still in its infancy, but has already shown tremendous growth in China.
10) "Duty, Honor, Country", Mr. Chen Zhuguo, President, Hubei Industrial University Business College
Mr. Chen spoke on the need for Chinese students to learn from China's past, especially the teachings of Confucius, which were eradicated during the Cultural Revolution. The issue of character development was the heart of the issue, where Chinese must learn to become future leaders and be at the forefront of the new global society.
The conference concluded with musical, vocal, and dance performances by the Lijiang College students and staff.
About ChinaCast Education Corporation:
Established in 1999, ChinaCast Education Corporation is a leading for-profit, post-secondary education and e-Learning service provider in China. The Company provides post-secondary degree and diploma programs through its three universities in China: The Foreign Trade and Business College of Chongqing Normal University, the Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University and Hubei Industrial University Business College. These universities offer fully accredited, career-oriented bachelor's degree and diploma programs in business, economics, law, IT/computer engineering, hospitality and tourism management, advertising, language studies, art and music. The Company provides its e-Learning services to post-secondary institutions, K-12 schools, government agencies and corporate enterprises via its nationwide satellite/fiber broadband network. These services include interactive distance learning applications, multimedia education content delivery, English language training and vocational training courses. The Company is listed on NASDAQ Global Select Market with the ticker symbol CAST.
Safe Harbor Statement:
This press release may contain statements that are forward-looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements express our current expectations or forecasts of possible future results or events, including projections of future performance, statements of management's plans and objectives, future contracts, and forecasts of trends and other matters. These projections, expectations and trends are dependent on certain risks and uncertainties including such factors, among others, as growth in demand for education services, smooth and timely implementation of new training centers and other risk factors listed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this filing, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or current facts and often use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "believe," "will likely result," "outlook," "project" and other words and expressions of similar meaning. No assurance can be given that the results in any forward-looking statements will be achieved and actual results could be affected by one or more factors, which could cause them to differ materially. For these statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
SOURCE ChinaCast Education Corporation