Our recent post, Boots on the ground: agent aggregators build their networks’, seemed to strike a chord, attracting interest on Linkedin, and almost 100 shares.

An episode of Canadian investigative journalism program, The Fifth Estate, on 12 October 2022, shone a light on international student recruitment in Canada, including the role of education agents and aggregators. Sadly, the issues addressed in the story are not unique to Canada. In 2019, the Four Corners program (the Australian equivalent of The Fifth Estate) did a story called ‘Cash Cows’, addressing the recruitment of international students in Australia. It covered many of the same issues addressed by the Fifth Estate. The script would be very similar if the focus was on the US, UK, or any other of the main international student destination markets.

The Fifth Estate episode includes an interview with ApplyBoard co-founder Meti Basiri, in which he confirms that ApplyBoard works with about 10,000 vetted “recruitment partners” (i.e. sub-agents). But ApplyBoard is not the only agent aggregator in the market with a large and rapidly growing sub-agent network. Our earlier post included a chart showing the growth of aggregator sub-agent networks over time, up to July 2022. In light of The Fifth Estate Story, we decided to take another look to see what, if anything, has changed in the last three or four months. Here’s what we found:

Sub-agent networks - AgentBee

Points of interest…

  1. KC Overseas – +3000 – network increased from 5,000 to 8,000 between August and October 2022.
  2. Adventus.io – +1000 – network increased from 6,000 to 7,000 between July and October 2022.
  3. Dfavo – +200 – network increased from 4800 to 5000 between July and October 2022.
  4. ApplyBoard and Shorelight – remained unchanged over the July – October 2022 period.

The numbers above are taken from the agents’ websites. We contacted KC Overseas and Adventus.io for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

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