Chinese agency, EduGlobal says it is "deeply shocked" following Australian TV channel ABC’s Four Corners: Degrees of Deception programme, aired earlier this year, which accused them of misconduct when sending students abroad.
The US's new agent friendly environment was tangible at the AIRC conference this month, where universities were exploring how to be more strategic in filling funding gaps. The ambitious arena is also creating a fertile ground for an imminent boom in pathway providers.
The USA's HE marketplace could benefit by 8 to 10% growth if recruitment practices evolved to catch up with those seen in Australia and the UK, Mitch Leventhal, co-founder of AIRC has said. "The British and the Australians are 10 to 15 years ahead in terms of sophistication of the staff and the leadership of universities," he said.
Quality and transparency in the use of agents in student recruitment were key themes in the fifth annual AIRC conference last week: the first held since NACAC reversed its policy against the use of commissioned agents in international recruitment.
US schools have been given a cautious go-ahead to use commission-based agents to recruit international students, after a report commissioned by the National Association of College Admissions Counsellors (NACAC) proposed that its members could, but should not use them. However, it also calls for new rules to ensure agents are used ethically.
If NACAC ruled in favour of agents you’d see many more US schools at workshops such as ICEF. There would be much more focus on that new opportunity to recruit, and it would increase the profile of all US schools.
The debate within the USA on the use of agencies in international student recruitment has evolved, with the question being 'how' rather than 'if'. At a recent NAFSA session, Director of Public Policy and Research at NACAC said, "Agencies are something that is real and NACAC has no problem with that."