“The ‘E’ Award Committee was very impressed with iTEP International’s innovative marketing and sales strategies customized to individual markets,” commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said in his congratulatory letter to the company.
“It’s easy to forget that international students are…supporting businesses of all kinds”
“iTEP International’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the US economy and create American jobs.”
While other educational institutions have been recognised for their export efforts over the years, this is a first for an English language assessment company, iTEP International President Jemal Idris told The PIE News.
“I believe this reflects the growing demand for rich data about the English language ability of students and applicants around the world,” he said.
Idris added that he hopes the award will draw attention to the value of small and medium-sized businesses such as iTEP, and their potential in shaping the international education industry.
“It’s easy to forget that international students aren’t just paying tuition, they are also living in the US, paying rent, buying food, and supporting businesses of all kinds,” he said.
“In addition to the tremendous cultural value, I hope that a greater portion of Americans will come to recognise the economic value of international students.”
Idris credited iTEP’s success to a close collaboration with the Department of Commerce international offices, which have been “instrumental” in identifying the right partners.
The company’s largest market is China, where it has over 100 test centres and a vast reach thanks to new partnerships announced last year.
Other key markets for iTEP include Mexico, Colombia, Japan, and South Korea.
“The Department of Commerce recognises the high value that education in the US has globally and offers a great deal of support to organisations looking to maintain and expand this market,” he said.
Earlier this year, allegations that the department could drop education from its mandate caused a group of study state consortia to initiate a lobbying action that involved congressional representatives. The department has denied such allegations.