The new recognition could allow the association to expand its activity in the international education industry.
“We want to become friends with all the associations in the industry like FELCA and ICEF because we need their experience to help us develop together,” said Adela Makashi, chairman of EAQA and office coordinator at ANDE-LM agency in Albania.
“It will be a challenge to show people why they should join us”
She said the organisation would focus on increasing membership over the coming year from its current tally of five agencies. Despite its relative new-comer status, it has already received six membership applications which should double numbers by the end of the year.
However, she said adding new members in 2013 would be difficult. “It will be a challenge to show people why they should join us. It’ll take time for them understand it because we are still new.”
Agents from Albania and the Ukraine founded EAQA to represent the many international education agencies operating across Europe. An estimated 5,500 education agencies operate in 50 European countries, but only 15 countries have active agent associations and none previously covered the whole continent.
The association promises agencies more bargaining power when speaking with governments and industry organisations, but most importantly a quality assurance stamp – something it wants to build awareness of this year.
“Students need to know that we are accredited agents who know what we’re talking about and can help you,” she said.