Education agent Future Leaders’ Academy, and its owner Mr Charles Logan, face allegations of serious misconduct in the wake of an education agent fraud scandal in the UK, uncovered by the BBC.
In a nutshell the dodgy education agents are recruiting bogus students so they can claim government funded loans they are not entitled to.
A BBC undercover student secretly filmed meetings with Charles Logan, who has an agency contract with GSM London to recruit students.
GSM London is a big institution, with more than 4,000 students at its Greenwich campus.
Future Leaders’ Academy receives commission payment of 10% of the tuition fee for each student enrolled, which typically amounts to about £600.
The BBC filmed Mr Logan telling an undercover student that enrolling on a three-year business management degree at GSM London,would not interfere with their full-time job.
He told the student:
There’s a guy who we see here who has never been to a class, never done an assignment in his life, but used the money to open two restaurants and he graduated with honours with a law degree last year.
After the undercover student was admitted on to a three-year honours course in business management, Mr Logan hooked him up with someone who could do his assignments.
The student later bought two assignments for £526 and a third from another online company. He submitted them as his own work. GSM did not detect the cheating and awarded the assignments good marks.
The results were ratified by Plymouth University which validates and awards degrees studied at GSM.
“Shocked and appalled”
GSM London issued a strong statement in response to the scandal:
We are shocked and appalled by the actions and statements made by Charles Logan during the BBC’s filming. We are angry that Mr Logan’s actions could reflect negatively on our dedicated, passionate and hard-working staff and students.
The statement went on to advise that GSM London has “terminated its contract [with Future Leaders’ Academy] with immediate effect.”
Charles Logan’s lawyer stated that he “emphatically denies acting fraudulently, either for profit or to assist students in fraudulently claiming student finance.”
What should institutions do with this information?
A best practice approach to education agent management requires, at a minimum, that an institution working with this agent has a conversation with the agent to test the veracity of the allegations.*
Ideally, institutions will also have been seeking student feedback on agent performance for each referred enrollment. If so, that student feedback can be reviewed to see whether any similar issues arise.
Ultimately it is a matter for the institution to make further inquiries, and to take appropriate action in line with its education agent policy.
(* Australian institutions are required to ask themselves whether the information above, and any follow up inquiries they might undertake, leads them to “reasonably suspect the agent to be…engaged in…dishonest practices.” If the institution does hold that belief it must not accept students from the agent – National Code, Standard 4)
Are you implementing best practice education agent management?
Stories like this one can (and probably should) make educational institution administrators and in-house recruiters feel worried.
The benefits of working with education agents are clear, but so are the risks.
Just one rogue agent can cause significant brand and reputation damage, not to mention the harm to students.
The importance of educational institutions committing to and implementing best practice education agent management can’t be overstated. It’s not a complete protection against dodgy agents, but it’s a minimum requirement to sensibly mitigate the risk.
AgentBee can help
AgentBee is a complete education agent management solution for educational institutions.
It’s easy-to-use software that supports educational institutions to implement education agent management best practice.
A key benefit for AgentBee clients is risk mitigation. Education agent performance evaluation is built in to the system to help institutions spot problems early.
AgentBee also provides regular Education Agent Alerts like this one so institutions can stay on top of any reported concerns about education agents and consider appropriate action.
And it’s not just about managing education agent risk. The agent engagement tools included in AgentBee save time for in-house recruitment teams and support increased enrollments through your agent channel.
AgentBee also offers simple pricing, no lock-in contracts, and an implementation option that costs next-to-nothing.