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New Oriental's Zeal for Talent

In September, 10 teachers with Beijing-based New Oriental Education Group, which was formed last August and based at the Beijing New Oriental School, will leave for North American and British Commonwealth countries to start overseas study.


Starting from test-oriented English training courses, New Oriental has grown into a household name as China's top English preparatory center for students eager to study abroad. On the way to transforming itself into a modern enterprise, this time New Oriental will spend 1 million yuan on its staff studying abroad, which will cover round trip international travel expense, tuition fees, academic aid as well as living expenses.


It is the first time so far in China for private schools to send their own scholars abroad.


Yet, unlike those government universities, where most visiting scholars are named by the university, New Oriental adopts a different approach and to combines volunteer registration and open competition for the places, with the only precondition that those candidates must have served in New Oriental for more than two years.


It is said that there were more than 100 qualified registered staff, and after three rounds of strict examinations, the president working meeting made the final decision. On the whole, these ten are all teaching staff or management personnel, and they are going to study for 3 or 6 months. Their fields cover MBA, enterprise management, education management, language education and training research.


According to Hu Min, president of the New Oriental Education Group, candidates must meet the following three standards: loyalty, faithful to their work and career;  stability, serve the New Oriental for a longer time; potential, they will develop themselves further after their overseas study.


Moreover, the New Oriental Education Group will discuss with them their study plan and future development before they go abroad. When they come back, they are required to hand in a research report and present their constructive opinions and insights to the development of New Oriental, added Hu.


Given the teaching background of many management staff of the New Oriental Education Group, Hu Min went on, they really need to go aboard for more advanced management concepts and education theories. By target training, New Oriental Education Group hopes to store up more comprehensive talent with an international background and expertise for both academics and management.


The “Visiting Scholars Program” is just the first step of the “Talent Project” of the New Oriental Education Group. As the top priority in New Oriental for the next three years, the “Talent Project” plans to import 600 talented people of various levels this year, 800 for the next year and 1,000 for the year following.


The “Talent Project”, in Hun Min’s words, is to meet the needs of globalization and a modernization drive in the New Oriental Education Group.


The general strategy of New Oriental is to expand quickly in big cities nationwide and extend its brand into every corner of the education industry. Currently, New Oriental has already opened offices in major cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Wuhan. In addition, New Oriental has entered into the field of publishing teaching materials, development of English learning software, computer training, online education and other language services such as translating.


Among some 2000 New Oriental staff, professional personnel account for 60 percent and nearly 200 have an overseas background.


However, Hu Min is far from satisfied. He insists that talent is always the heart of an enterprise and the development of an enterprise must rely first on talent, second on culture.


Rewarding excellent teachers in terms of high salaries and overseas study can be part of the story to keep staff and attract talent. But that’s not enough, the most important thing, in Hu Min’s mind, is to make staff have a kind of enterprise identity.


Therefore New Oriental is trying hard to let all staff have a sense of home, a sense of success and a sense of honor.


Only when the staff grow better and better, can the enterprise develop smoother and smoother, Hu Min emphasized.


(China.org.cn by Zheng Guihong, September 7, 2003)

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