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English Australia launches agent partner scheme

English Australia (EA) has become the latest education organisation to launch an agency partner scheme as part of a trend in ELT markets globally to champion quality agents to both sector players and students.

L-R: Eleanor Asprey, Michaela Kruschina, Janine Taylor (Austrade), Mel Koumides (ACPET) and Sue Blundell (English Australia) at the ICEF Berlin Workshop 2014.

“We hope the English Australia recognition for agents will help to differentiate them in the market”

The Partner Agency Programme is designed to recognise and promote reputable language travel agents recruiting students for quality English language programmes in Australia.

EA represents over 120 language providers and is aiming for 100 agencies from key source markets in year one of the programme.

“With more schools competing on price and more agents selling on price, we have to find ways to support the agents that continue to support the quality colleges that really deliver the learning outcomes that students are looking for but do not necessarily cost more,” EA Executive Director Sue Blundell told The PIE News.

“With more schools competing on price and more agents selling on price, we have to find ways to support the agents that continue to support the quality colleges”

“We wanted to find a way to both recognise and promote the good agents that choose to work with good colleges in Australia,” said Blundell. “Those two words ‘recognise’ and ‘promote’ are carefully chosen and equally important.”

To qualify, agencies must be able to provide contact details for staff within four EA member colleges that they have recruited students for in the last year. Staff members must have a successful working relationship with the agency and must be prepared to provide a written reference.

Successful agents will receive the EA affiliate logo for their own promotional use, an official certificate, a profile on the EA website, access to resources and regular updates containing news and information on studying in Australia.

“We hope the English Australia recognition for agents; the ability for them to use the logo in the marketing collateral and to have a certificate for their physical premises, will help to differentiate them in the market,” said Blundell.

“By promoting them on our website where students come to search for English courses on Australia, we hope to also grow the business for them and for quality ELICOS colleges in Australia,” she added.

The cost to join the scheme is AUS$180 for a two-year period and agencies will have to reapply every two years to maintain their status on the programme.

Last month, International House World Organisation launched a partner agency scheme and recently the Beijing Overseas Study Services Association announced a government backed online training and examination programme.

This summer the government of New Zealand also introduced a three tiered agent training programme to support “high quality, top performing” agents.

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