However, even this golden rule does have its exceptions. And today it’s time to focus on those.
Even though agents can be invaluable to the success of your internationalisation strategy, there are several considerations to keep in mind before you start. Since we try to provide you with a holistic approach towards student recruitment, here is a couple of scenarios where working with education agents is probably not the best option:
International recruitment doesn’t align with your institution’s strategy
Of course, we believe that any campus can benefit from having international students. They bring value to the institution and the local community not only in terms of profit, but also culturally. Still, many institutions across all education sectors all over the world focus on bringing education only to local students. For all those, international student recruitment agents are definitely not an option.
The international students office obtains enough funding and already disposes of staff dedicated to recruiting
As we previously discussed, international student recruitment is a mission you cannot accomplish without proper background and resources. It’s a full time job that includes research, frequent travel to build a network of contacts and direct work with students, parents and all other stakeholders you can think of. If all of that is already in place and your school enjoys great recruiting results and a diverse student portfolio – congratulations! You don’t need student recruitment agents over here!
There is not enough funding to secure the best quality of education for international students
While international students invest quite a lot into local economies through their tuition costs and everyday spending, sometimes this doesn’t cover the expenditure of education providers. After all, international students need to have courses in English or other widely-spoken language. They also need to have mentors and coordinating officers, as well as adequate accommodation options. Providing lower than expected quality to international students can easily hurt your institution’s reputation. In this case, it is better to focus on building your programs and infrastructure first, and then open your doors to international students.
What criteria do you use to assess the feasibility of education agents use for your institution? Share your experience in the comments below!