Pearson to open fifty new English language centres in China

Pearson, the world’s leading education and information company, today announces plans to open fifty new English language centres in China.

Pearson’s 66 language centres and schools already educate approximately 50,000 Chinese students every day through 45 centres for adults and 21 for children.  The expansion announced today will reach a total of 100,000 students and see Pearson expand for the first time into cities such as Nanjing, Suzhou, Dongguan, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing, creating up to 2,000 new jobs.

John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson International, said: “Our language schools in China are very popular and highly effective in helping people improve their English. We’ve opened 6 new centres this year and now plan to step up the pace of expansion. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that we will be opening up 50 new centres over the next few years and expanding into a number of new cities.

“This is just one of many ways in which we will continue to help meet the rapidly growing demand for high quality education across China, as we have done for more than 40 years. We now employ more than 3,000 people in China, our largest group of Pearson colleagues outside the US and UK, and this number will continue to grow rapidly as we expand our teaching, assessment, learning technology and publishing activities.

“We will also continue to do more to bring Chinese language and culture to the wider world through our global qualifications, teaching and learning resources and publishing activities.”

Early last year, Pearson acquired Wall Street English, which helps professionals improve their English language capabilities and now has 45 centres operating across 7 cities. This complements the 21 Longman English language schools, focusing on children, which Pearson also operates, in Beijing and Shanghai.

With its co-publishing partners, Pearson publishes more than 1,000 Higher Education and English language teaching titles each year, selling around 20 million books. Among the most popular titles is New Concept English, still a best seller some 30 years after first being studied with in China. Pearson’s “MyLab” learning technology is now adopted by 10 of China’s top universities and its assessment capabilities and academic and vocational qualifications are gaining in popularity. Late last year Pearson launched a new test to measure English-language proficiency – the Pearson Test of English-Academic – as part of its comprehensive English Language Teaching business.

In both the United States and the United Kingdom, Pearson is publishing Chinese-language curricula for middle and senior high school students, with rich resources to support teachers.  In the UK, these resources have been developed in partnership with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the Confucius Institute. In the UK, nearly 10,000 students per year study for either a GCE or GCSE qualification in Chinese from Pearson’s awarding body, Edexcel. Pearson is also working with Peking University to develop a new oral test of Chinese.

Pearson is also proud to announce the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Ministry of Education and the General Administration of Press and Publishing, to cover a range of activities, including:

  • supporting teacher training in China;
  • expanding and strengthening the pool of translators who can bring works from English to Chinese or from Chinese to English;
  • working with our partners to strengthen digital rights management in an era of rapid growth in digital publishing;
  • working collaboratively on language learning and assessment in both Chinese and English.

The MOU aims to support Pearson’s publishing activities in China as well as the expansion of the Chinese publishing industry outside of China, through training programs, seminars, translation and other initiatives.

Pearson has been a pioneer in identifying works created in China and bringing those works to readers around the world.  Over the last five years, through Penguin books, Pearson has acquired more than 30 contemporary and classic titles on and from China for international publication; these include the novel Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, which won the Man Asian Literary Prize. Pearson also publishes Penguin Classics in Mandarin, to bring these wonderful books to a broader audience in China.

Over the past several years Pearson has worked closely with GAPP, the Arts Council England and the Australian Council for the Arts to run the Chinese-English Literary Translation course, which seeks to expand the pool of translators who can bring works written in Chinese to English-reading audiences, and works written in English to Chinese readers.

Mr. Wu Shulin, Vice Minister of General Administration of Press and Publications(GAPP) said:

"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding will promote the exchange in media and publications between China and the UK.  It will also deepen the cooperation between Pearson Plc and its Chinese publishing counterparts and be of great significance to support excellent Chinese publications going out. "

Isa Wong President of Pearson China said:

“Pearson is proud to bring English language teaching and publishing to China, and help Chinese authors find new audiences in the rest of the world. Our partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education will continue to strengthen educational opportunity in China, and help Chinese people gain access to high-quality education, wherever they are.”


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Notes to editors

Pearson in China:

  • Pearson has offices in seven cities in China, with over 3,000 employees.  
  • Our Longman brand has operated in China for over 40 years.
  • Shanghai is now the headquarters of Pearson’s global language school businesses, and China is our biggest market.

Pearson strongly supports greater exchange between English and Chinese language literature and language training.  Pearson currently works with the Confucius Institutes to publish Chinese language curricula in the US, UK and Australia, and has publishes Chinese contemporary literature in translation – the Pearson company Penguin published Chinese bestseller Wolf Totem in English, which is now sold in 26 countries.