June 20, 2020

Japanese Customer: Australian universities predict decrease in use of education agents

Education agents love them or hate them have a vital role to play in international education. In Australia for example: many of the large Universities have student's from over 100 different cultures and countries studying. To be able to understand, manage and communicate with this many cultures would be a tough call.

The complexities of culture mean that education agents will always have a role to play international education as institutions do not have the budgets, staff or expertise to manage such a wide array of cultures. Education agents manage the cultural complexities on behalf of the institutions for a small fee or commission which must be said is often well earned.

Who handles phone calls in the students native language? Who answers emails in the students native language? Who handles calls from parents overseas? Who handles payment in foreign currency? Who translates documents? Who explains institutions policies? Who takes students to immigration when they have a visa problem? Who notifies the institution that a homestay with an outsourced company is not working? Who provides progress reports of student progress to parents? Who handles all the cultural difficulties student's encounter during their study time? Education agents do.

Will education institutions be able to replicate this level of knowledge, expertise and service?

To recruit off the Internet from sites like MySpace and Facebook is a highly specialized skill, one I imagine that involves highly developed cultural understanding. A skill education agents have?

Yes, students are getting more information from the Internet about institutions. Yes, students are researching institutions more deeply using the Internet. Paper based brochures have become less important. Yet how many education institutions have their websites in multi language formats? How many institutions can recruit students directly from their websites?

Recruiting is an important tool but management and retention of international students is even more important for long term success in international education.

Story:

Web to sideline role of agents
Milanda Rout | October 10, 2007 Source: The Australian newspaper


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