Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education (Spring 2023)

A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective on Challenges and Best Practices

This is the very long and descriptive title of a forthcoming book edited by Pii-Tuulia Nikula, Principal Academic, Te Pukenga – New Zealand Institute of Technology and Skills, Vincenzo Raimo, an independent higher education consultant and Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading, where he previously served as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), and Eddie West, Assistant Dean of International Strategy and Programs at San Diego State University. The book is part of a Routledge series on Internationalization in Higher Education edited by Elspeth Jones.

Book Description

With a focus on the growing number of institutions employing commercial agents to support international student recruitment, Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education provides an evidence-based exploration of this phenomenon, and will increase the reader’s understanding of the multiple dimensions of agent engagement, its contradictions and complexities.

This book explores who and what are these education agents are, what students and higher education institutions can expect from a good agent, how bad agents can be identified and avoided, and what we learn from the reasons for the development of these agents in the first place. Offering theoretical perspectives with practical applications, this volume features contributions from academics and scholar-practitioners, laying out fresh perspectives and insights on topics such as process transparency, developing agent policy and procedures and government regulations.

Providing the ideal reference for students embarking on international study, agents, higher educational institutions, government/accreditation agencies, researchers and practitioners, this insightful book acts as a critical basis for further research and improvements in higher education practice.

Table of Contents

Part I: Setting the Scene  1. Education Agents: Key Issues, Themes and Stakeholders  2. From Student to Agent to Faculty: How my Journey has Influenced my Work with Education Agents  3. The Risky Terrain of Outsourcing Recruitment: Ethics Versus Expediency  

Part II: Education Agent and Consultant Perspectives  4. The Agent Voice: Agents’ Perspectives on Recruiting and Student Services Before and After the Pandemic  5. An Ethical Approach to Student-Centered Commission-Based Recruitment: The Way Forward  6. Education consultants’ work and international education: an examination of the technical and emotional dimensions  

Part III: Agents’ Value Propositions and Impact  7. Agents and Test Preparation: The Quest for High Scores on Standardized Tests  8. International Education Agents: Lessons from the History of IDP  9. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Toward a student-centred value proposition for agents.  

Part IV: Agent Management & Views of Higher Education Institutions  10. Agent Management Best Practices  11. Building an Effective Agent Engagement Strategy to Empower Strategic Growth in New Zealand  12. Recruitment Agents in Italy: Perspectives of Higher Education Institutions  

Part V: Student Views  13. Pursuing Higher Education Dreams in the U.S.: Portraits of Chinese Families Assisted by an Education Agent  14. Giving voices to Chinese international students using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA): the application experiences to UK universities via education agents in uncertainty  

Part VI: Government and Regulator Perspectives and Country Studies  15. Exploring the reasons for the development of India’s education agent system  16. Regulation, Deregulation and Self-regulation: The Evolution of China’s Policy on Education Agents  17. Education New Zealand’s agent engagement programme: Building a more sustainable international education sector  18. Client-Agent Dispute Cases  19. Conclusions, Emerging Trends and Future directions for education agents and their stakeholders

My very modest contribution, An Ethical Approach to Student-Centered Commission-Based Recruitment: The Way Forward, appears as chapter five in Part II.

As a writer and editor, I have some first-hand insights into how much work is involved in producing one of these books. Congratulations to the editors and my fellow contributors on this singular achievement!

Shalom (שלום), MAA

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