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."
Education agencies approved under the AIRC accreditation system may no longer be able to take commission on any form of financial aid, or even substantially change their business operational procedure without AIRC approval, under revisions to the scheme being voted upon currently.