Update: The post Aussie Uni cancels education agency contract, published on 18 January 2020, provides an update on the information below.
In Australia, the ABC’s investigative journalism program, 4 Corners, this week looked at Australia’s huge international education industry, and what some universities are allegedly prepared to do to get their piece of the pie.
The main point of the program was that several large Australian universities have allegedly waived minimum English requirements for some international enrollments, resulting in large numbers of international students who simply do not have the English skills to successfully undertake the courses in which they have enrolled.
The program also reported allegations against education agent OECC in the context of examining Murdoch University’s international student recruitment practices. The ABC reported that a “senior higher education advisor sent a warning to Murdoch’s admission staff”:
I would not recommend OECC as they rely heavily on Punjab. The application that you get will be from their sub agents who are from Punjab. Their process is also not in place.
The report goes on to say that “another warning came from a former immigration official.”:
I have also heard from a credible source that OECC have been selling offer letters in Punjab. If this were to happen with a Murdoch offer letter, it would gravely jeopardise the reputation that Murdoch University are trying to build.
The ABC says that “some of Murdoch’s admissions staff were also concerned about the quality of the students OECC was targeting”, and quoted a Murdoch University staff member:
The Facebook page is quite telling in their modus operandi. I have taken screen shots of some of the posts which appear to target students whom are married, previously refused and low levels of English.
The warnings were reportedly passed on the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor International in the following terms:
OECC specifically target high-risk students with few other options. Their business model is apparently to exact a fee from students for offer letters.
Despite these warnings, the reports says, OECC was granted a one year contract with Murdoch in 2017.
At the time of writing (10 May 2019) OECC remains listed on Murdoch University’s website as an authorised education agent.
The other side of the story
AgentBee contacted OECC to seek a response to the allegations in the 4 Corners program. Their email in response was prompt and clear:
OECC completely denies the allegations made in the 4 Corners coverage.
A quick look at Google Reviews shows that OECC has 30 reviews with an average star rating of 4.8.
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