This is an excellent survey conducted by World Education Services (WES) about the use of education agents by students around the world – with the exception of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Here’s a brief note about their analysis, including some caveats.
Survey results are broken down by region of origin. We compare results for students from the top two sub-regions of origin – South and Central Asia, and East Asia – as well as from several major world regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. *
The survey examines services used at different points in the enrollment funnel – discovery, application, and enrollment. It also provides insights into the different types of education agents used by international students in different parts of the world. These include institution-sponsored agents – those who receive commissions from or have a contract or agreement with U.S. institutions; and independent educational agents – those who are paid by the students and their families.
* Response rates from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa were very low, thus findings are not discussed with one or two exceptions.
It paints a very mixed picture of agent use by survey respondents and highlights some of the fundamental flaws of agency-based recruitment.
Follow this link to read the article in its entirety.
As an aside, a recent trend I’ve noticed in Viet Nam is that of increasing numbers of students bypassing agents and applying directly to US colleges and universities. (I view this as positive, by the way.) Possible reasons include greater access to quality information and, consequently, more confidence on the part of students and their parents. There is also the realization among many that the application procedures of some types of institutions are very simple. Finally, many students have done their homework, know exactly where they want to go, and therefore have no need for an intermediary. Survey, anyone?