How to maintain integrity as an education agent
“With each client there is more learning, as no two cases are exactly the same”
You don’t have to look far to find criticism of education agents in the field of international student recruitment. From headlines condemning onshore student ‘poaching’ to accusations of application fraud, it’s harder to find praise for the role they play in helping students make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Maintaining integrity is essential for this controversial profession. Dharmendra Patel, managing director of the Aussizz Group, explains some of the key principles education agents must abide by.
“Being an advisor who helps prospective students meet their future possibilities means having important responsibilities”
In the past not many people had access to study or work opportunities in different countries. But times have changed, and for the better. Countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and a few mainland European countries have emerged as leaders that offer education and jobs highly desirable to today’s prospective international students. It is not merely that they pay the top dollar, but they provide a chance to nurture one’s talents and grow to be a contributor. Apart from better-paying jobs, and renowned degree, it is the overall experience one can have which is ever more captivating.
Education agents are often responsible for introducing people to these opportunities. Being an advisor who helps prospective students meet their future possibilities means having important responsibilities. Their role is a diverse one, and the overseas consultant significantly impacts the life of a person who comes to them for proper guidance about the crucial decision of studying abroad.
In most cases, to better understand the client’s perspective and provide the best solution, all dealings happen face to face. With each client there is more learning, as no two cases are exactly the same.
Due to the important role agents play in their clients’ lives, preserving truthfulness and being upright with the people seeking advice is vital. There are certain practices that a consultant can observe to maintain the integrity in the entire process.
So, every time an agent deals with a prospective client, the agent must keep the following in mind:
Integrity: A client’s profile must be assessed without prejudice. Also, the smallest of details needs double-checking, to establish the veracity of the client’s documents. A true understanding of the client’s situation must be made in the first few meetings.
Honesty: The client must be made aware of issues related to migrating to another country for overseas study. Also, a client should be updated about any recent changes that might affect their application.
Professionalism: One of the prime responsibilities of an education agent is to make their client aware of all the laws that apply to their application in the first place.
Academic assistance: The agent must assist with the client’s university/college admission application and make the student aware of the admission criteria.
Objectivity: The client must be given start-to-finish information related to the entire process. It not only helps the client trust the consultant and be patient at each step of the application, but also aids the consultant to resolve any conflict or address any queries from the client’s end.
Transparency: The consultant must inform the client about the status of the application at every stage and carry out any communication with the client in an honest and clear manner.
Competency: The consultant must remain updated about any changes to the legislation.
Not many students know the various ways in which migration and education consultants may be able to assist them. However, in many cases, the clients rely on the expertise and experience of the consultants. It is imperative to handle all the queries of a probable applicant with sheer diligence and deal with them patiently. As previously mentioned, it is a higher responsibility as it involves a good amount of valuable time, money, and effort on both the sides.
In the end, it is always the person grabbing the opportunity who is going to experience studying overseas. But good advice can go a long way in bettering their experience, and an education consultant has the potential to help ensure the clients’ experience is enhanced.
The responsibilities are diverse and thus, it is of utmost importance that an immigration and education consultant be truthful and provide start to finish services with full conviction.