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China: COSA, GSM to develop enquiries portal

Following their joint agent fairs in Beijing and Shanghai last month, agency events organiser Global Student Mobility and China Overseas Study Association, CEAIE are raising investment to develop a student marketing and recruitment portal for partner schools.

Shen Xuesong, deputy secretary general of CEAIE, at the reception in Beijing.

“We see great potential growth in recruitment from tier two and three cities"

By allowing schools to maintain a profile on the portal showcasing their courses, it could increase direct enquiries or allow schools to siphon requests to their preferred COSA agent.

“The thought process in this is that it can benefit institutions who do not work with agents and they can receive enquiries directly,” Stephen Clegg, managing director of GSM, told The PIE News.

“The thought process in this is that it can benefit institutions who do not work with agents and they can receive enquiries directly”

“We expect that data will show increased conversions through the use of agents so that initially joining agent-free this may help move institutions in the agency direction, although that will be at the sole discretion of the participating institutions.”

Initially launched in China, with a beta version going live as early as 2016, the portal will later be rolled out across Asia.

Schools will be given a six month free trial period, after which the site will be supported by monthly paid subscriptions.

It will also offer a translation service at an additional cost.

“We want to assist all stakeholders and we see this portal as a means to help our partner schools and agents, whether or not they attend our events, to create tangible results,” commented Xuewen E, vice chairman of COSA.

The announcement of the portal follows speed networking events last month in Beijing and Shanghai, which were attended by educators, agents and other stakeholders representing more than 50 organisations.

COSA, which was founded by the Ministry of Education as part of the China Education Association for International Exchange in October 2013, and GSM are now planning further events over the next year as COSA expands its membership across China.

E said he sees great growth potential for recruitment in tier two and three cities in China.

“These cities may not be as well known but in many cases have a population of greater than five million people and a growing affluent middle class,” he explained.

“These families may be less rankings-driven and more cost conscious than typically seen in Beijing and Shanghai.”

“I hope that this event will be the start of a long term relationship where we can all work in partnership to improve quality, legitimacy and professionalism across our industry,” Shen Xuesong, deputy secretary general of CEAIE, told attendees at the reception in Beijing.

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