Issues over the activities of overseas agents who act as partners to students looking for applying for abroad universities for higher education are being speculated. Universities in UK enroll more than ten thousand non-EU students each year through agents, most of them operating professionally and ethically. These agents provide good advice and assist prospective students and their families in applying for universities abroad. The agents are also represented by colleges and Universities at low costs.
However, there have been recent reports of unethical behavior on part of overseas agents. If this continues, it could damage the reputation of higher education in UK. As per news reports, some agents claim that they can provide placements in reputed universities to students whose grades are too low to qualify for the course. Moreover, most universities have little knowledge of how these agents are operating.
In order to address these concerns, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand had issued a code of ethics in March, 2012. As per The London Statement, the agents should be advised to make their business more transparent and provide accurate and updated data. More parties supporting the London Statement will make it easier to improve this move. However, this approach has a disadvantage as there is no requirement or rule that compels these agents to follow it.
Standardizing these agents’ transactions with universities and students is supposedly a more effective solution. UK Border Agency can track payments from students that come into the country to study. Transparency in these agents will not only benefit the University but the potential international students as well.
Source: The Guardian
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