British Council publishes agent database

November 26, 2013

The British Council has published a list of agents that have taken the BC’s agent training, have adopted the ethical principles of the so-called ‘London Statement’ and have agreed to undertake a programme of periodic assessment in how they respect those principles.

Caption: The new British Council agent database

In a press release, the BC said the aim of the database on the Education UK website was to “increase the number, effectiveness and quality of agents working on behalf of UK schools, colleges, language centres and universities and to build agent capacity and professionalism”.

The statement of principles for “ethical international student recruitment” was unveiled last year in a joint statement of education officials from the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Kevin Van-Cauter, British Council International Higher Education Advisor, said, “We do not accredit education agents or agencies but we hope the global trained agents database and roll-out of the advanced training will add greater assurance to institutions that they are getting the best possible services when it comes to international student recruitment.

“For agents this is an opportunity to gain more skills and have a competitive advantage over competitors – it’s a win win win scenario,” he added.

There is no obligation on institutions to use agents from this database, which doesn’t take account of Felca membership or other agent training schemes. In an industrial strategy paper on international education exports earlier this year, the government indicated the plans for the publication of the list. The strategy document stated, “The UK does not regulate the use of agents,” and added that risk was managed at an institutional level.

“This is a great tool that will help UK institutions to find agents who have developed a great understanding of the UK’s education system and who have shown they are committed to improving their knowledge – this in turn helps make sure that they offer sound advice to students, and that they promote the benefits of a UK education,” Van-Cauter said.  

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