Xi'an International University: The Growth of Private Universities in China

Posted: 10 Apr 2012

See all articles by William C. Kirby

William C. Kirby

Harvard Business School

Michael Shih-ta Chen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Keith Chi-ho Wong

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: January 19, 2009

Abstract

Huang Teng founded Xi'an International University (XAIU) as a private institute of higher education in 1992. Throughout its ensuing years, the school filled a niche and met the demand of students who did not test into one of China's public institutions. In 2008, it was seeking to grow by aggressively pursuing opportunities in other provinces and municipalities. Huang's plan was to franchise his university throughout China. However, in pursuing this strategy in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, China's largest cities, Huang was not receiving warm responses. Local officials feared XAIU would jeopardize the survival of locally-run, private universities, and competition among private universities was heating up as institutions from the United Kingdom and Hong Kong partnered with public universities to form joint-ventured "independent colleges." Buoyed by the success of XAIU, Huang was confident that despite these setbacks, his franchise model would work. But was an alternative plan of expanding into second or third tier cities compromising too much of the groundwork that had already been laid, would it jeopardize XAIU's funding opportunities, and finally, would it hurt the academic quality and integrity XAIU had built up at home?

Learning Objective: Private universities fill an education gap in China. Demand for higher education has created a new industry.

Suggested Citation

Kirby, William C. and Chen, Michael Shih-ta and Manty, Tracy and Wong, Keith Chi-ho, Xi'an International University: The Growth of Private Universities in China (January 19, 2009). Harvard Business School General Management Unit Case No. 309-074, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2038055

William C. Kirby (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Michael Shih-ta Chen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Keith Chi-ho Wong

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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