Buoyant demand for traditional destination countries, according to global agent poll

Traditional destination countries can expect to see more international students in the coming year according to a survey of more than 750 student recruitment organizations from 69 different countries.

The poll, conducted in March 2015 by INTO University Partnerships indicates that the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada will all see an increase. Perhaps most surprisingly, for those based in the UK at least, is that 72 per cent of those surveyed believe they will be sending more students in the coming 12 months.

The annual survey also reveals the importance of service for counsellors and the link to employability as a key motivating factor for students wishing to study overseas. Continue reading “Buoyant demand for traditional destination countries, according to global agent poll”

Annual survey reveals agents value response times and service quality most highly in their relationships with institutions.

More than 880 respondents from 63 countries participated in the 2014 INTO global educational counsellor survey.  The results have once again supported some of the wider mega-trends in international education – including the rise of China, the growth in awareness of online education and the increasing importance of student advocacy.   But one of the the key messages emerging from this survey is that  while agents cite rankings most often when counselling students, it is the basics of service quality – response times to enquiries and applications, which they value most highly in their relationships with client institutions.

Download the full infographic here

About the respondents Continue reading “Annual survey reveals agents value response times and service quality most highly in their relationships with institutions.”

Perception and reality – my humbling experience of agents’ work in China

I left INTO at the beginning of 2013 to study Mandarin Chinese full time in Kunming, China. My reasons for doing this and my experiences ‘on the other side’, as an international student, are for another day.

But, with an eye to the future, I wanted to continue some kind of association with INTO, so I approached the recruitment team in Guangzhou to see if I could assist in any way.  Despite my very basic language skills I was fortunate enough to be asked to help Tyler Nusbaum and the team with some agent events. Here I got to experience first hand the reality of the job that agents do to support students. Continue reading “Perception and reality – my humbling experience of agents’ work in China”

£67 million on visa compliance – but is the money being spent in the right areas?

The recent Higher Education Better Regulation Group report which estimated that the UK higher education sector has spent £67 million on visa compliance, got me thinking. Has it really been five years since the Points Based System (PBS) was introduced?

It immediately took me back to when I was working at the University of East Anglia and I was asked to lead on a little project for about six to eight months to make sure that the University’s visa letters had consistency across the faculties and included our new licence number.  It’s funny how that little project has evolved as per the HEBRG report and cost HE institutions £67 million, but surely that must also be seen as an investment in one of the UK’s most valuable export sectors and, more importantly in supporting students on their journey to the United Kingdom?

Continue reading “£67 million on visa compliance – but is the money being spent in the right areas?”

Education agents: separating the mythology from the reality

phone studentDigital native students all over the world can receive information online, can monitor league tables and can of course apply unassisted to university. Yet, how many students in the United Kingdom or United States apply without the guidance of a high school counsellor or sixth form tutor? It is almost unthinkable that any student should apply without guidance and support.

International students studying outside their home country use agents and education counsellors to help select their future study options – a pattern evident even in the most sophisticated Asian markets like Japan, Korea and Taiwan where all students have permanent online access. Why? Because the choice is bewildering and students who are non-native speakers of English find the process of dealing with overseas universities complex and intimidating.

Continue reading “Education agents: separating the mythology from the reality”