U.S. Universities May Dominate International Recruiting Agent Channels

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International Education Advantage, LLC (Intead) interviewed more than 50 academic professionals with on-the-ground experience using international recruiting agents to find appropriate international students. The publication documents the wide spread use of commission-based agents as a recruiting channel by U.S. institutions and provides a best-practice roadmap for schools considering this marketing option.

The use of recruiting agents in China is common and a valuable resource for parents and students trying to understand our very different application process.

With the 2013 NACAC decision to permit its members to use commission-based agents, U.S. academic institutions are poised to overtake their UK and Australian counterparts in this recruiting channel.

"The allure of a Western education, and particularly a U.S. education, continues to draw an increasing number of international students to U.S. higher ed," notes Michael Waxman-Lenz, Co-founder and CEO or International Education Advantage (Intead). The latest Open Doors data released earlier this month document the continuing trend of increasing numbers of Chinese students seeking to study here.

"The use of recruiting agents in China is common and a valuable resource for parents and students trying to understand our very different application process," explains Waxman-Lenz. "Our research, and research conducted by other experts in this field, suggest that a majority of Chinese students look to a recruiting agent for help with the application process—from choosing a good match to getting a student visa."

A new e-book just published by Waxman-Lenz and his colleague, Lisa Cynamon Mayers, contains findings from interviews with more than 50 academic professionals with on-the-ground experience using international recruiting agents to find appropriate international students. The publication documents the wide spread use of commission-based agents as a recruiting channel by U.S. institutions and provides a best-practice roadmap for schools considering this marketing option.

"The debate over use of commission-based agents is unique to the U.S. today," explains Waxman-Lenz. "Universities to in Canada, along with those in the UK and Australia, have been using this recruiting channel successfully for years and years. Now that NACAC has cleared the way, and with the U.S. being the far and away the top destination for international students seeking a Western education, it is conceivable that the volume of international recruiting agency contracts with U.S. schools is about to explode."

There is no question that there are pitfalls here. With stories of poor student guidance and even fraud swirling through the news media and online, the need for structure, standards and proper management is clear. "There are many examples of high performing recruiting relationships that are in the best interests of schools and students," says Waxman-Lenz. "With these examples in mind, we set out to share the experiences from the field that will inform the next set of U.S. institutions exploring commission-based recruiting."

For more information about the e-book, Student Counselors and Agents: Building and Managing Your International Network, or the services provided by Intead, visit http://www.intead.com.

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Michael Waxman-Lenz
@Intead
since: 10/2011
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