IIE Networker - Spring 2008 - (Page 36)

Knowledge Network Agents “Agent” – a Dirty Word? By Marisa De Luca Working with agents to increase student recruitment is still considered negatively by some educational institutions. But the nature of international recruitment is changing, and so too is this derogatory classification of agents. ested in studying abroad. There are different types of education agents that may be suitable for the various marketing needs of your institution. Educational referral agents: this type of agent represents a selected number of educational institutions, often specializing in a number of programs and destinations. Usually an agreement has to be in place before agents in this category will start representing an institution. These types of agents can be useful for representing a university in depth with a focus on a number of programs. Study abroad advisers: These professionals work from international advising centers, providing general information about study abroad opportunities, often under the umbrella of a public organization. These types of agents are appropriate for a broad representation of a university, campus, and program offerings. Travel agents with an education division: These agents will sell educational programs in addition to other travel packages. Although some higher education providers initially shy away from working with travel agents, they do make good educational representatives. Travel agents often have a solid and wealthy customer base, premises in good locations, good English skills and familiarity with visa administration and international currency transactions. This type of agency is very useful for short and specific courses, such as summer or language programs. Not only will this help with quotas for those specific programs, but also, once on campus, quality students can be identified for long-term study. Education providers and agents meet with students at an ICEF China workshop in October 2007. Consider that the international education market represents more than USD 45 billion dollars, is currently estimated at roughly 2.7 million students, and is expected to grow to more than 8 million students by 2025. International student recruitment is becoming a bigger and bigger priority for institutions all over the world as new study destinations compete fiercely for their share. To succeed, universities now need to be global in their approach. Some 79% of the top 200 ranked universities increased the proportion of both their international students and their international staff, according to the THES-QS 2007 figures. At the same time, the amount of international students placed by agents worldwide has grown considerably over the past years, reaching between 60% and 80% in some geographic locations, particularly in Asia, where the bulk of future student growth is slated to come from. It is by now common knowledge that working with quality, professional agents – who follow ethical standards and recruitment practices – is a very effective and efficient way to increase the quantity and indeed the quality of your international student body. So perhaps it is now time to evolve the “dirty word” classification to other more positive appreciations and to take a closer look at how you can maximize recruitment results for your institutions by working with quality agents. What is an Education Agent? An education agent is an individual, company or organization that provides educational advice, support and placement to students in a local market who are inter- Advantages of Recruiting Students Through Education Agents Agents are a low risk, low cost way of getting involved in or increasing international student recruitment. There are many advantages of outsourcing student

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2008

IIE Networker - Spring 2008
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Best Practices in International Education: 2008 Andrew Heiskell Awards
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series A Conversation with President M. W. Scogggins, Colorado School of Mines
Measuring Return on Investment in International Student Recruitment
Making Partnerships Work
Campus View
Latin America
International Students
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Spring 2008