By Matthew Knott, News Editor of StudyTravel Magazine

Another varied week on the news desk here at StudyTravel Magazine, with the team returning from various events and international conferences with several interesting stories.

In the USA, the National Association for College Admission Counselling (Nacac) has continued its increasing engagement with the agency sector with the publication of a guide for students to using agents, as well as other sources of study abroad information.

Two years ago, Nacac formally approved the use of commission payments for recruitment of international students to US universities after years of ‘official’ opposition. The approval was common-sense recognition that agency-based recruitment was fairly widespread among members already.

Subsequent to this rubber-stamping, Nacac has published a guide for institutions on using agents and has now followed this up with a guide for students. Some agents might not agree with absolutely everything Nacac is urging – we explored agent reactions to this in a special feature earlier in the year – but in general Nacac’s rapprochement with the agency sector is to be welcomed.

To be fair, there is very little that good agents would disagree with in the new guide for students. Nacac advises students to choose an agency with long experience that has signed up to a code of conduct; they recommend agencies with a wide and varied portfolio; and they urge students to be cautious about companies relying heavily or exclusively on rankings as their information about an institution.

I would argue, though, that they could have namechecked Felca and the national agency associations in relation to conduct and ethics – as they did with the previous guide for colleges.

Elsewhere this week, we have some positive data coming out of New Zealand. The issuance of student visas is growing strongly in the early part of 2015, according to the first quarter data released by Education New Zealand, while the English language sector is moving along nicely in the 2015 first trimester enrolment data, with a 14 per cent rise in both students and student weeks.

Pleasingly, the growth was more heavily concentrated among English New Zealand schools, which command around 80 per cent market share, according to Chairman, Darren Conway. The enhanced work rights that New Zealand has offered have certainly impacted positively on Latin American markets, but growth is largely across the board with Japan also performing noticeably well. And as ENZ Operations Manager, Kim Renner, reports in our ‘View from the desk of…’ interview this week, the association has been very active in its agent engagement, particularly in that country.

Finally, you have hopefully received the June issue of StudyTravel Magazine by now. If not, however, here is the digital version to keep you going!

Special features in the June 2015 edition are: a cover story on agency software,  a direction article on the steadily growing 50+ market and a market analysis on the USA’s English language sector .


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