Working With Education Agents: Languages Canada 2012 Conference

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ICEF's presentation at the Languages Canada conference, February 2012: Working with Education Agents. Provides a country by country overview of why students use agents, what students in each country look for when choosing where to study overseas, and how educators can work most effectively with education agents.

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Working With Education Agents: Languages Canada 2012 Conference

  1. 1. Languages Canada - Annual ConferenceFebruary 27th 2012, Vancouver Working with Education Agents : An Overview John Demer (Americas) - jdemer@icef.com - 888 371 5556 Sarah Mines (West Canada) - smines@icef.com - 604 838 4042 Caroline Levesque (East Canada) - clevesque@icef.com - 819 635 5601 www.icef.com
  2. 2. Working with Education Agents …1. British Council report - "Why Students Use Agents - Demand and Supply” - will compare the differing levels in which students around the world are and are not using agents, and the reasons students turn to agents.2. The "i-graduate ICEF Agent Barometer 2011“ – a survey of 737 agents, with their thoughts on study destinations, what they are looking for in an educator, and what their expectations / concerns are for 2012.3. The key issues in how educators can work most effectively with education agents – finding, approaching, contracting, incentivising, motivating and supporting agents.4. Questions & Answers, Discussion www.icef.com
  3. 3. A bit about us• ICEF - the recognised market leader, in bringing together educational institutions and screened agents, since 1991• 10 ICEF Workshops world-wide, ICEF Online Workshop, Student enquiry generation, ICEF Agent Training Course, ICEF Monitor, and the ICEF Education Fund• 1500 educational institutions from all sectors• 2200 educational agencies from 112 countries• North America-exclusive workshops - meet pre-screened, North-American focused agents from around the world www.icef.com
  4. 4. Some facts. Did you know?• There are currently over 3 million students studying abroad• An exponential growth of 50% since 2000• 7 million international students expected by 2025• Recent figures suggest that 60% of international students are sent by agents.• 80% of students in Australia are referred by agents, for Canada - ??% www.icef.com
  5. 5. British Council : Why Students Use Agents -Demand and Supply (Nov, 2011)• Available for purchase from : http://ihe.britishcouncil.org/ihe-exchange• “…. this study aims to provide a greater understanding of the student lead demand for information on: services, fees, accommodation and application that international students seek from education agents …” www.icef.com
  6. 6. Use of Agents in the Decision-makingProcessEurope (9): Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece,Russia & TurkeyLatin America(5): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia& MexicoAfrica (6): Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda & ZimbabweSouth Asia (5): Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri LankaEast Asia (11): China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines,Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam
  7. 7. Use of Education Agents - SummaryHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? Latin Europe Africa America 25% 23% 24% 30% 41% 36% 52% 35% 34% South Asia East Asia 21% 23% 39% 48% 42% 29%
  8. 8. Use of Education Agents - EuropeHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? Czech Germany France Republic 15% 10% 15% 10% 25% 30% 75% 60% 60% Russia Turkey 20% 25% 35% 40% 55% 25%
  9. 9. Use of Education Agents - Latin AmericaHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? Brazil Mexico Colombia 30% 30% 25% 40% 35% 45% 25% 30% 40% Argentina Chile 25% 30% 30% 40% 30% 45%
  10. 10. Use of Education Agents - AfricaHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? Nigeria Ghana Kenya 20% 20% 15% 40% 40% 50% 35% 40% 40% Egypt Uganda 20% 30% 40% 55% 25% 30%
  11. 11. Use of Education Agents - South AsiaHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? Sri India Pakistan Lanka 20% 20% 25% 25% 40% 50% 30% 50% 40% Nepal Bangladesh 20% 10% 40% 40% 50% 40%
  12. 12. Use of Education Agents - East AsiaHave you contacted or will you contact an education agent ? South China Japan Korea 15% 30% 25% 40% 25% 50% 60% 25% 30% Thailand Vietnam 10% 10% 50% 35% 55% 40%
  13. 13. Reasons for using agentsSouth Asia :1) information on how to obtain student visas2) advice on which institutions to apply to East Asia : 1) information on overseas institutions 2) advice on which institutions to apply toAfrica:1) information on how to obtain student visas2) advice on which institutions to apply to Latin America : 1) information on overseas institutions 2) advice on which institutions to apply toEurope :1) assistance / reassurance that they are choosing the right institution2) help accessing more information on the institutions they are considering
  14. 14. Use of Agents in the Decision-makingProcessAre education agents an extravagant luxury, or a prioritised essential?• The pattern across all countries indicates that those respondents who were most likely to use agent services were seriously considering overseas study• Students do not use agents to find preliminary information during the mapping-out of initial ideas• The financial commitment, which is often contractual and binding between potential student and agent, is itself an indication and a first step in the process towards enrolling in international study.
  15. 15. Education Services provided by agents – free or for a fee?Course/Programme applications 31% 68% 1% Course selection counselling 10% 89% 2% Admission guidance 20% 74% 6% Referral to institutions 18% 71% 12% Language testing 25% 55% 20% Work and study abroad 39% 37% 25% School visits 16% 54% 30% Language training 46% 22% 31% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Free of charge For a charge Not applicable
  16. 16. Support Services provided by agents – free or for a fee? Pre-departure briefing 88% 8% 4% Accommodation - campus residence 59% 29% 12% Accommodation - homestay 51% 35% 15% Accommodation - private 48% 36% 16% Health insurance 28% 53% 18% Airport pick up 36% 45% 19% Travel 44% 37% 20% Travel insurance 28% 53% 20% Banking 32% 15% 53% Currency exchange 32% 15% 53%Telecoms – mobile phones, phone cards 24% 22% 54% Internet 34% 9% 57% Freight 14% 13% 73% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Free of charge For a charge Not applicable
  17. 17. General Services provided by agents – free or for a fee?Promotional materials 94% 3% 3% Interviews 85% 10% 5% Visa processing 41% 50% 8% Career counselling 69% 14% 17%Education exhibitions 74% 7% 19% Immigration advice 45% 14% 41% Local job placement 21% 14% 65% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Free of charge For a charge Not applicable
  18. 18. Ways to Meet the Demand• What / who students want when considering studying abroad : - a person to speak to / not a computer screen - a speaker of their language - a trustworthy source of guidance - with overseas application and study experience (preferably in their desired country / location of study) - similar in age and outlook• Professionally: Agents• Personally: Current Students and Alumni
  19. 19. The i-graduate ICEF Agent Barometer 2011 The ICEF Agent Barometer is now in its 5th year Since the pilot study in 2007, we have collected valuable data from over 4,500 responses The 2011 study ran for 4 weeks from mid-September. 737 responses were collected from 102 nationalities in this wave. Online survey developed in partnership by ICEF & i-graduate
  20. 20. The i-graduate ICEF Agent Barometer 2011Agent Placements – by type of study, and by destinationAgent Expectations – for 2012, by destinationAttractiveness of study destinationsStudent mobility: concerns / difficultiesConclusions
  21. 21. Agent Profile India; 9% Brazil; 6% Russian Federation; 6%Other; 52% China; 5% Turkey; 5% Nepal; 5% Pakistan; 4% Nigeria; 3% Ukraine; 3% Germany; 3%
  22. 22. Agent Profile Agent country Number of placements Brazil 24,001 China 23,483 India 20,614 UK 20,409 Czech Republic 18,895 Germany 10,838 Russian Federation 10,548 Italy 8,268 Turkey 7,094 Spain 5,815 Ukraine 5,513 Pakistan 5,216 USA 5,203 Nepal 4,269 Australia 3,395 Mexico 2,343 Saudi Arabia 2,266 Nigeria 1,797 Bulgaria 1,752 Bangladesh 1,537
  23. 23. Placements – by type of study, and bydestination ?
  24. 24. For which programmes do you recruit students? Language Courses 85% University: Undergraduate 71% University: Graduate/Postgraduate 71% University: Foundation 60% MBA Programmes 60%Vocational Diploma/Further Education 54% Secondary and High School 53% Work & Travel Programmes 41% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Base: 578
  25. 25. Which types of language courses do you place students in? General language 83% Language for academic preparation 66% IELTS preparation 56% Business/Professional language 54% Group study tour 30% Language plus another subject 29% Cambridge exams preparation 25% Language for teachers 21% Other 10% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Base: 449
  26. 26. Placements by type of study Please indicate how many of the following language course lengths you have sold in the last 12 months Number of placements Average placements 1 week or less 1,795 20 2-4 weeks 25,210 118 5-8 weeks 8,220 44 9-12 weeks 7,177 38 13-24 weeks 8,700 55 24 weeks + 14,171 76 Dont know 1,517 101 Total 66,790 192Base: 352
  27. 27. Where agents are placing students?Language Courses 80% United Kingdom 79% 71% USA 69% 60% Canada 58% 60% Australia 58% 47% Germany 45% 45% France 44% 44% New Zealand The percentage of agents placing 43% students in Language Courses across 40% the top 10 destination remains Ireland relatively stable 39% 40% Malta 40% 37% 2011 (427) 2010 (483) Italy 35%
  28. 28. Where agents are placing students?Secondary and High School USA 71% 64% United Kingdom 69% 65% Canada 63% 48% Australia 39% 40% New Zealand 36% 30% France 27% 20% Germany 25% 19% Canada has the greatest increase of placements within the top 10 24% destinations, however as all top 10 Ireland 21% destinations have seen an increase, Canada remains in 3rd place behind Switzerland 22% the UK and USA 20% Italy 15% 2011 (246) 2010 (305) 10%
  29. 29. Where agents are placing students?Vocational Education Australia 63% 63% United Kingdom 63% 68% Canada 54% 46% New Zealand 42% 39% USA 42% 49% Singapore 22% 20% Ireland 21% 18% UK, USA and Malaysia see a decrease since last year 20% Canada sees the largest increase of Switzerland 19% the top 10, increasing by 8 percentage points compared to 2010 Malaysia 15% 16% Germany 14% 2011 (252) 2010 (274) 12%
  30. 30. Where agents are placing students?Foundation Courses 81% United Kingdom 78% 53% USA 49% 50% Canada 44% 48% Australia 50% 30% New Zealand 31% 20% Ireland 19% 20% Canada, and to a lesser extent, the Malaysia 20% USA are seeing an increase 17% compared to 2010 data Singapore 18% 16% Germany 15% 15% 2011 (281) 2010 (298) Switzerland 16%
  31. 31. Where agents are placing students?Undergraduate 76% United Kingdom 72% 70% USA 67% 61% Canada 54% 54% Australia 53% 37% New Zealand 35% 24% Germany 19% 24% Ireland Canada are seeing an increase of 7 20% percentage points; however remain 22% in 3rd position Switzerland 22% 21% Malaysia 19% France 19% 2011 (348) 2010 (398) 16%
  32. 32. Where agents are placing students?Work/Travel 56% USA 62% 46% Canada 44% 39% United Kingdom 54% 36% Australia 40% 27% New Zealand 31% 22% Ireland 28% 16% Germany 9 of the top 10 destinations have seen a 17% decrease in percentage pints compared 15% to 2010 data – Canada is the only France exception, increasing t by 2 percentage 19% point. The UK sees the largest decrease, 15% by 15 percentage points South Africa 16% Singapore 13% 2011 (168) 2010 (184) 12%
  33. 33. Placements – by type of study, and bydestination ?• Across every sector – agents sent more students to Canada in 2011 from 2010• UK, USA, Australia suffered annual losses across two or three sectorsKey items …• Agents sending more students to Canada than ever before = run with it• Huge increases for Canada in Foundation, Vocational, Undergrad, Work & Travel sectors = huge benefits for language programs with pathway programs in place, and university language programs• Promote your pathway programs, more now than ever before
  34. 34. How many students do agents expect to place in the next 12 months?
  35. 35. Approximately how many students do you expect to place overall in the next 12 months? Overall expected number of placements year on year 2011 88% 8% 4% 2010 79% 15% 6% 2009 78% 17% 5% 2008 74% 15% 11% 2007 63% 33% 4% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% More than in the past 12 months The same in the past 12 months Less than in the past 12 months A general increase is seen year on yearBase: 512
  36. 36. Expected number of placements by agent office country Nationality breakdown by respondents who place students on English language courses100% 3% 4% 4% 7% 11% 13%90% 9% 4%80% Less than70% the last 1260% months50% 97% The same as 89% 89% 87% the last 1240% 83% months30% More than20% the last 1210% months 0% Brazil (36) Turkey (28) Russian Federation China (23) India (23) (27)
  37. 37. Expected number of placements to different study destinations USA (386) 80% 14% 5%United Kingdom (425) 78% 12% 10% Canada (365) 77% 19% 4% The Netherlands (78) 72% 22% 6% China (92) 71% 23% 7% New Zealand (256) 69% 25% 7% Australia (322) 67% 24% 9% Malaysia (93) 67% 20% 13% Ireland (207) 65% 28% 8% Germany (219) 64% 32% 4% France (216) 63% 31% 6% Malta (172) 62% 30% 8% India (66) 61% 30% 9% Spain (175) 60% 35% 5% Denmark (62) 60% 32% 8% Switzerland (150) 57% 37% 6% South Africa (99) 57% 34% 9% Singapore (100) 53% 37% 10% Thailand (27) 52% 33% 15% Japan (95) 52% 32% 17% UAE (43) 51% 37% 12% Italy (166) 50% 45% 5% South Korea (44) 50% 36% 14% Russia (82) 48% 40% 12% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% More than the last 12 months The same Less than the last 12 months
  38. 38. How many students do agents expect to place in the next 12 months?• Majority of agents (88%) to place more students in 2012 over 2011• Agents in Brazil, Russia and Turkey are the most optimistic, with just 1 agent from these 3 countries combined to send less in 2012• 77- 80% of agents to send more students to US, UK and Canada, only 67% for AustraliaKey items …• Agents expecting to send more students to Canada than ever before = run with it• How’s your agent network in Brazil, Russia and Turkey ? = now’s the time
  39. 39. Attractiveness of study destinations
  40. 40. Drivers of study location choice (487) Location 87% Cost of study 87% Admission requirements/Flexible entry requirements 60% Language of teaching 59% Easy access to visas 57% Employment prospects 56% Word of mouth/personal recommendation 55% Safety 52% Support for international students 52% Performance in rankings/league tables 47% Accreditation of courses 47% Scholarship and financial aid 47% Lifestyle 41% Students from the same country/province already studying there 36% Transfer of credits policy 30% Links with local institutions 13% Other 5%Base: 487 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
  41. 41. Drivers of study location choice – top 4 agency countries India China Brazil Russia Location 87% 85% 91% 96% Cost of study 87% 81% 91% 96% Admission requirements/Flexible entry requirements 71% 65% 50% 52% Language of teaching 56% 50% 59% 81% Easy access to visas 71% 58% 69% 44% Employment prospects 64% 73% 56% 63%Word of mouth/personal recommendation 69% 38% 69% 56% Safety 62% 46% 38% 48% Support for international students 67% 50% 56% 33% Performance in rankings/league tables 58% 77% 13% 70% Accreditation of courses 71% 31% 38% 44% Scholarship and financial aid 47% 62% 25% 41% Lifestyle 31% 19% 44% 26%Students from the same country/province already studying there 58% 35% 25% 15% Transfer of credits policy 38% 58% 6% 22% Links with local institutions 16% 19% 9% 11% Other 7% 0% 0% 0% (45) (26) (32) (27)
  42. 42. Attractiveness of Study Destinations in 2011 USA (436) 72% 1% 23% 3%United Kingdom (444) 63% 27% 5% 5% Canada (440) 59% 34% 3% 5% Australia (427) 47% 41% 9% 4% New Zealand (358) 37% 46% 13% 4% Germany (341) 30% 59% 10% 1% Switzerland (307) 28% 52% 15% 6% Spain (308) 25% 61% 9% 5% Ireland (329) 18% 69% 12% 2%The Netherlands (255) 17% 46% 27% 11% France (325) 17% 70% 11% 2% Malta (284) 17% 52% 23% 9% Denmark (230) 15% 41% 33% 11% Italy (297) 15% 67% 14% 4% Japan (247) 11% 51% 30% 8% Malaysia (268) 9% 35% 35% 21% India (257) 9% 25% 40% 27% Singapore (264) 8% 46% 27% 19% China (257) 8% 53% 32% 7% South Africa (271) 7% 41% 36% 16% Russia (261) 6% 39% 38% 18% UAE (224) 4% 37% 35% 24% South Korea (222) 3% 22% 46% 28% Thailand (223) 3% 19% 50% 28% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Very attractive Attractive Unattractive Very unattractive Traditional markets remain top of ‘attractive’ list
  43. 43. Attractiveness of Study Destinations year on yearTraditional Markets USA 11 72% 23% 1%3% USA 10 70% 22% 1% 6% USA 09 73% 17% 3% 7% USA 08 68% 25% 3% 4% UK 11 63% 27% 5% 5% UK 10 69% 24% 2% 5% UK 09 72% 21% 1% 6% UK 08 71% 23% 2% 5% Canada 11 59% 34% 3% 5% Canada 10 52% 37% 4% 6% Canada 09 48% 42% 6% 5% Canada 08 49% 42% 7% 3% Australia 11 47% 41% 9% 4% Australia 10 40% 46% 10% 5% Australia 09 42% 44% 10% 5% Australia 08 49% 42% 5% 4% New Zealand 11 37% 46% 13% 4% New Zealand 10 33% 52% 10% 5% New Zealand 09 28% 53% 13% 5% New Zealand 08 29% 57% 10% 5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Very attractive Attractive Unattractive Very unattractive New Zealand and Canada are progressively seeing more ‘top box’ responses, whilst Australia is recovering from a slight dip
  44. 44. Attractiveness of Study DestinationsBrazilian agents Canada (31) 74% 23% 3% 0% USA (29) 69% 28% 3% 0% Australia (32) 69% 25% 3%3% United Kingdom (29) 62% 38% 0% New Zealand (31) 52% 39% 6% 3% Ireland (27) 41% 59% 0% Spain (28) 29% 71% 0% Switzerland (23) 17% 70% 13% 0% South Africa (29) 14% 72% 7% 7% Malta (23) 9% 61% 26% 4% France (28) 7% 93% 0% Germany (28) 7% 82% 11% 0% Italy (28) 7% 82% 11% 0% Russia (21) 5% 14% 57% 24% Malaysia (23) 0%4% 52% 43% The Netherlands (23) 0% 22% 65% 13% Japan (22) 0% 55% 45% 0% India (20) 0% 15% 60% 25% Thailand (20) 0% 10% 60% 30% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Very attractive Attractive Unattractive Very unattractive
  45. 45. Attractiveness of Study DestinationsRussian agents USA (27) 85% 11% 0% 4% United Kingdom (25) 80% 12% 4% 4% Canada (27) 63% 37% 0% Germany (26) 50% 46% 4% 0% Switzerland (23) 39% 57% 0% 4% Malta (23) 39% 61% 0% Spain (26) 35% 62% 4% 0% Australia (21) 29% 62% 10% 0% France (22) 23% 73% 5% 0% Ireland (24) 21% 71% 8% 0% Italy (25) 20% 72% 8% 0% New Zealand (20) 10% 75% 15% 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Very attractive Attractive Unattractive Very unattractive
  46. 46. Attractiveness of Study DestinationsTurkish agents France (20) 75% 21% 4% 0% Malta (21) 67% 29% 4% 0% Canada (23) 38% 57% 5%0% Germany (21) 38% 48% 5% 10% USA (24) 35% 57% 4% 4% United Kingdom (24) 10% 70% 15% 5% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Very attractive Attractive Unattractive Very unattractive
  47. 47. Attractiveness of study destinations• Location and cost are the two main key drivers• BUT the drivers for every country / region vary• Canada - highest increase in attractiveness over the last year, and last 4 years combined• US stable, UK suffering, Australia recovering, Canada from strength to strength• Russia, Turkey, Brazil experiencing Canada-feverKey items …• Canada’s attractiveness is at an all-time high = run with it• As the drivers for each country differ your marketing message to them also needs to differ. What is an turn-on for a Russian student can be a turn-off for a Brazilian student.
  48. 48. Student mobility concerns / difficulties
  49. 49. Student mobility concerns/difficulties experienced year on year Whilst the recession was prominent in 2009, the data is seeing a return to Visas as the main concern / difficulty for agents 80% 71% 70% 67% 67% 60% 55% 54% 50% 48% 45% 41% 40% 37% 36% 36% 30% 23% 24% 21% 20% 21% 11% 8%10% 9% 10% 10% 9% 5% 5% 6%4%5% 2% 0% Study visa Financial Global Eonomic Work visa Accreditation Other Insurance RecessionBase: 421 2011 2010 2009 2008
  50. 50. Student mobility concerns/difficulties experienced in 2011By agent office country (top nationalities) Russian China (26) Turkey (24) Nepal (26) India (42) Brazil (33) Federation (24)Study visa 65% 63% 92% 79% 61% 92%Global Economic 46% 50% 35% 24% 36% 38%SituationFinancial 27% 46% 38% 26% 21% 25%Work visa 38% 8% 15% 29% 52% 8%Safety 15% 8% 8% 21% 3% 4% Looking at the top 5 concerns / difficulties by agent location, a large variation between agents is shown. For example, there is a 46 percentage point difference between Brazilian Agents and Turkish and Russian Agents in concerns over Work Visas. Similarly there is a 31 percentage point variation in agent concerns over Study Visas
  51. 51. In which destination country did you encounter these study visa concerns/difficulties? Financial Global Economic Situation Australia 51% United Kingdom 63% United Kingdom 45% USA 53% USA 36% Australia 32% Canada 26% Canada 23% New Zealand 12% Spain 16% Switzerland 7% Ireland 14% Germany 5% Italy 12% Ireland 5% France 9% Spain 5% New Zealand 9% Denmark 4% A strong Australian Germany 8% France 4% Dollar may Switzerland 5% Malta 4% contribute to the Japan 3% The Netherlands 4% difficulties faced South Africa 3% Italy 3% Malta 2% Japan 3% The Netherlands 2% Russia 2% Russia 2% Singapore 2% Denmark 2% China 1% Malaysia 2% Malaysia 1% Thailand 2% UAE 1% China 1% South Korea 1% India 1% Thailand 1% Singapore 1% India 0% UAE 1% South Africa 0% South Korea 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%Base: 144 Base: 128
  52. 52. In which destination country did you encounter these study visa concerns/difficulties? Safety United Kingdom 50% USA 41% Australia 20% Japan 11% France 7% Russia 7% China 5% India 5% Ireland 5% Malta 5% New Zealand 5% South Africa 5% Canada 2% Germany 2% The Netherlands 2% Spain 2% The UK riots in August may contribute to this finding Denmark 0% Italy 0% Malaysia 0% South Korea 0% Singapore 0% Switzerland 0% Thailand 0% UAE 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%Base: 44
  53. 53. In which destination country did you encounter these study visa concerns/difficulties? Study Visa Work Visa United Kingdom 52% United Kingdom 59% Canada 45% USA 40% Australia 40% Canada 39% USA 40% Australia 29% New Zealand 11% France 8% Germany 10% Germany 8% Ireland 7% Italy 6% France 7% The traditional markets The Netherlands 6% Italy 5% dominate visa concern / New Zealand 6% Spain 3% difficulties - however this Denmark 5% Switzerland 2% may be due to more Japan 5% China 2% student choosing these Malaysia 5% Denmark 2% countries as a Malta 5% Malta 2% destination, therefore South Korea 5% The Netherlands 2% problems are more likely Spain 5% Japan 1% to be encountered India 4% Malaysia 1% compared to location Ireland 4% South Africa 1% where agents Russia 4% Singapore 1% infrequently place Singapore 4% India 1% Switzerland 4% 1% students Russia China 2% UAE 1% South Africa 2% South Korea 1% Thailand 1% Thailand 0% UAE 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%Base: 282 Base: 85
  54. 54. Student mobility concerns / difficulties• Just as the drivers for agents differ from country-to-country, so too, do their concerns• Student visas are #1 cause for concern for most agents• Canada strong on safety and financial aspects (cost of living and studying)• BUT weak on visas – an area where Australia WILL improveKey items …• Address the concerns of agents/students, remembering they differ from country to country• Play on Canada’s safety and cost of living/study, eg. use country comparison pricing charts• Use highly-screened, well-established agents in student visa trouble spots
  55. 55. Finding and approaching agents • Finding agents - Agent Workshops, Conferences, Events - Agent Databases - Other institution’s websites - Online (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) • Approaching agents - Why always emails ? - Visiting / hosting - Webinars - Good ol’ fashioned phone calling
  56. 56. Some words on compensation• Commission on tuition fee• Set fee per head, volume bonus, targets etc.• Annual retainer (marketing) fee - paid in advance• Payment procedures should be stipulated and followed• Student’s fees should be received before the student arrives • Define respective roles & responsibilities • Mention business plan (marketing strategy, budget) • Give key performance indicators (quantity / quality) • Outline exact compensation model • Exclusivity if and when • Dispute resolution guidelines • Duration of contract including termination clauses www.icef.com • Examples and samples
  57. 57. Motivation and IncentivesFinancial incentives …• Standard / variable commission rates• Bonus schemes (student volume & quality)Non-financial incentives …• FAM trips, scholarships• Organise competitions (free gifts / useful items)
  58. 58. Please tell us how important the following criteria are (or could be) in terms of marketing for institutions: Rank Importance Services 1 Quick response times to enquiries and applications 3.68 Services 2 Regular communication updates 3.54 Services 3 Agent manual with fees and information 3.53 Packages & Offers 4 Having guaranteed entry to specific education institution programmes 3.38 Services 5 Agent FAM Tours organised in the destination country 3.36 Packages & Offers 6= Scholarships/bursary schemes 3.34 Promotional materials 6= Participation in education exhibitions in your country 3.34 / campaigns Services 8 Regular visits to education institution by you or your staff 3.32 Promotional materials 9 Individual institution brochures (in English) 3.30 / campaigns Packages & Offers 10 Financial support schemes 3.27
  59. 59. How to support your agents• Provide comprehensive information via an agent manual• Marketing assistance (hardcopy, CD, web)• Conduct agent training sessions giving regular updates• Stay in touch – phone calls, letters, newsletters, emails• Integrate agents into your overseas marketing plan• Monitor results and review procedures• Ensure a rapid response time to agents queries• Organize agent familiarization trips – increases agent’s knowledge, and enhances personal relationships
  60. 60. Agent marketing resources
  61. 61. Services institutions provide (best to worst)Provide information regarding cost of living and budgeting informationProvide specific training materials / guidesProvide good supportProvide a single point of contact at the institutionExpect you to process applications fasterProvide specific training explaining their processes of recruiting students
  62. 62. Identifying agents for your School• What geographical area do they cover ?• Company history - how long have they been in business ?• What is their company structure & number of staff ?• How many students do they handle each year ?• What other schools do they represent (#, type, location) ?• Can they provide references ?• Are they members of an association ?• Do they follow professional standards ?• What is their promotional and marketing strategy ?
  63. 63. In summary• As recruitment becomes increasingly competitive, agents are now an integral component of any international strategy• Select agents carefully, ensure that they are of quality• Only appoint agents suitable to your institution, be selective• Ensure agents are part of an integrated marketing plan• Leverage agents in other marketing activities (fairs, internet, alumni, advertising)• Invest sufficient time and resources from the start• Communicate regularly and support agents effectively• Review your requirements and contracts periodically
  64. 64. Resources …• ICEF’s white paper on working with education agents – “Professional Advice for Educators – Working with Education Agents …”• The i-graduate ICEF Agent Barometer 2011• British Council Report (for purchase): Why Students Use Agents - Demand and Supply (Nov, 2011) http://ihe.britishcouncil.org/ihe-exchange www.icef.com
  65. 65. Questions & Answers … Thank you … Sarah Mines Caroline Levesque John Demer smines@icef.com clevesque@icef.com jdemer@icef.com 604 838 4042 819 635 5601 888 371 5556 www.icef.com

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