“Education Agent Risk” – what does that mean?
Education agents play an important role in the international education market.
They support students and parents to make the right study abroad decision.
They give universities, colleges and schools a way to access new markets.
For many universities, colleges and schools, education agents are the most important channel for recruiting international students.
With that opportunity comes the risk that your agents will not meet your standards when representing your institution and promoting your courses to international students.
The biggest concern is that one of your education agents will act unprofessionally or dishonestly. If that happens – and it happens a lot – potential international student are hurt, and your institution’s brand is damaged.
That’s what we mean by ‘education agent risk’
Sharks in the water
The vast majority of agents are focused on acting professionally and ethically to provide the best possible service to students, and the educational institutions they represent.
But some aren’t. There are sharks in the water.
In 2018 AgentBee identified 15 incidents of serious unprofessional conduct, dishonesty, or criminal behaviour by education agents around the world.
Most of those education agents represented a number of educational institutions. We checked.
We also tracked each reported education agent for several months after. Almost always the agent remained listed as an authorised agent for several educational institutions.
That was the case even when the education agent was convicted of a criminal offence.
I’ll say that again:
In most cases in 2018 where an education agent was implicated in serious unprofessional, dishonest or criminal conduct, the agent remained listed as an authorised agent for several educational institutions for a considerable period of time.
That’s kind of a big deal.
Having an agent go rogue is a serious problem in itself, and one that most institutions would want to take action on immediately. Most likely that would involve terminating, or at least suspending, the agency agreement.
The fact that many institutions did not remove offending agents from their public list of authorised agents almost certainly means that those institutions were simply unaware that there was anything to worry about.
They did not know there was a problem.
Would you know if one of your current agents was involved in serious misconduct?
Reduce Education Agent Risk in 2019
Reducing education agent risk requires active management.
Now that does not mean that you need to micromanage every aspect of your agents’ activities, but it does mean:
- You need to know immediately if there is a problem, so you can take appropriate action.
- You need to be able to check on agent performance regularly over the life of the agency agreement.
AgentBee: Insight makes it easy to do both.
It is a new business intelligence solution designed to make it easy for universities, colleges and schools to reduce education agent risk, while working effectively with education agents to increase international student enrollments.
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