New Zealand is currently the only country in the world (at least that we know of) that publishes education agent performance data.

In late 2018 the Australian Government committed to publish performance data on education agents in Australia’s international education system, but it has not happened yet.

What data does New Zealand publish?

Education New Zealand has published the student visa approval rates and application volumes (range) for education agents operating in Vietnam, the Philippines and India student markets for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 calendar years. COVID meant that there was no data published for 2020, and 2021 will probably also be missing given that NZ’s borders have mostly remained closed since the start of the pandemic.

The existing reports state the average student visa approval rate across all applications received, and the student visa approval rate for each education agency.

How is this relevant to education agent risk management?

Student visa approval rates are an important indicator of education agent performance.

For example, the NZ data shows that the average student visa approval rate across the three years reported was:

  • 2019 – 62%
  • 2018 – 77%
  • 2017 – 70%

If an education agent has fallen short of that average in one or more years it may indicate an issue with the quality of service they are providing to students.

So what has NZ data got to do with me?

Keep in mind that the data covers education agents operating in India, Philippines and Vietnam. Some of those agents will specialise in the placing students in the New Zealand market but most will be representing institutions in the other main destination markets – i.e. US, UK, Australia and Canada.

To put it another way, if you are at working with education agents to recruit international students for an institution in the the US, UK, Canada or Australia, there is a good chance that a number of your authorised agents are included in the Education New Zealand Data.

Noting the average annual student visa approval rates listed above, how would you feel about working with education agent whose visa approval rate was less than half the average across one or more of those three years? At the very least you would want to ask why that was the case.

How do I actually use the NZ data to manage agent risk?

Full marks to Education New Zealand for publishing the data. It is an important transparency measure.

The catch is that the Excel spreadsheets are not super easy for in-house recruitment teams to use day-to-day as part of your education agent management systems and process. Also, the NZ data, while useful, is just one data point and may not on its own be a definitive indicator of education agent performance.

AgentBee’s Agent Check solution draws in the NZ data and marries it with other open source data on education agent performance.

International student recruitment teams can use Agent Check to manage education agent risk, and protect their institutions and future students by:

  • running checks on new education agents before agreeing to work with them, and
  • checking on current education agents at regular intervals as part of a best practice ongoing due diligence approach.

Manage education agent risk

Click here to find out more about our Agent Check solution and take control of education agent risk management.