How to select an Education Agent
Education Agents operate in the education sector to promote courses offered by Australian education providers to overseas students and are located around the world, including Australia.
Successful education agents demonstrate professionalism & comply with professional standards. This means they are committed to their clients, deliver high & consistent levels of service & have ethical practices.
Examples of ethical standards that education agents must practice include –
- Providing sufficient & accurate information to students, so that they can take an informed & right decision
- Keeping adequate records
- Maintaining contact with students even after a course has begun in order to help them with relevant issues that may arise
- Having clear cost structures
- Responding to questions in a timely manner
Some unethical practices that students must be aware of while dealing with education agents include –
- Charging hidden fees
- Misrepresenting fee structures of institutions
- Placement into a course for commission reasons alone without due regard to a student’s needs & future
- Not protecting student’s personal details
The services an education agent must provide are:
- Information on education options, courses and pathways
- Information on Australian culture and lifestyle
- Facilitating enrolment applications to education providers
Education Agents based in Australia are restricted from providing immigration assistance. Though there is no such restriction on education agents operating overseas, the Department of Home Affairs may choose to exercise its discretion and not communicate with an education agent in particular circumstances.
Some tips when selecting an education agent
- Do your research – Do some preliminary internet research to see what you can find out about an education agent and if an education agent is authorised to represent a particular education provider. The ESOS Act makes it mandatory for all education providers in Australia to publish a list of their authorised education agents on their website.
- Seek out a “Qualified Education Agent Counsellor (QEAC)” who has successfully completed the “Education Agent Training Course” of PIER. You can check the PIER database to confirm if an education agent has in fact completed this certification.
- Ask the education agent to recommend a selection of courses and to disclose whether they are receiving any commissions from the education provider. Please be aware of the fact that education agents normally receive a commission from the education provider and there may be a temptation for the agent to recommend a particular course based on who is paying the highest commission rather than the most suitable course for the student.
Contact us if you wish to seek any assistance in your institution or course selection, admission process or student visa.