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Recruitment strategies focus of OACAC

Recruitment strategies, managing relationships with agents and understanding secondary education ladders were at the forefront of over 80 educational sessions at the recent Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) 21st annual conference earlier this month.

This year saw OACAC's first annual 5k Run/Walk which raised money for the OACAC scholarship fund.

"the fact that more than 400 individuals were first-timers would suggest that more institutions would prefer to establish direct relationships with high schools"

A record turnout of almost 1,100 attendees from over 80 countries and 831 institutions gathered in Tampa Bay, Florida, including directors of admissions, secondary school counsellors, practitioners, administrators, government and NGOs to share their best practices in international education.

“A highlight was the quality of the educational sessions”

“A highlight in general was the quality of the educational sessions,” Eddie West, Director of International Initiatives at NACAC (big brother association to OACAC) told The PIE News.

Pinpointing a session on agents entitled ‘The Good, the Bad and the Somewhere in Between’ and led by representatives of the University of Aberdeen and Concordia University, West said this provided a “balanced look at differing experiences with international student recruitment agencies.”

“One institution shared how they’re working with agencies to good effect. The other explained how significant problems stemming from their work with agencies has prompted them to eschew the practice in favour of alternative recruitment methods,” said West.

West said that another well-received session was about building a new international admissions office or programme, which he described as: “Very good information for newcomers to the field and seasoned practitioners alike.”

In fact over a third of the delegates were attending OACAC for the first time, something President of OACAC, Ffiona Rees, believes is due to increasing globalisation of higher education, rather than National Association for College Admission Counselling (NACAC)’s recent ruling to allow its 13,000 members to use commission-based education agents to recruit international students.

“OACAC attendees are focused on university and high school relationships; and the fact that more than 400 individuals were first-timers would suggest that more institutions would prefer to establish direct relationships with high schools,” said Rees.

Founded in 1993, the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling is NACAC’s affiliate association representing over 1800 members from universities, high schools and organisations in more than 95 countries.

This year’s conference also awarded 10 OACAC Scholarship Funds to secondary school counsellors from around the world including Rwanda, Uganda, Indonesia, Nepal and Colombia and raised $10,800 for future funds.

To view photo highlights of the event see The PIE Gallery.

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