Maintaining good business reputation concerns us all. It’s obvious that reputed and well-established International Student Agencies enjoy a high degree of credibility among prospective international students and partner institutions. But there are no shortcuts to building your agency’s reputation overnight.
International Student Agencies should have the patience to stay in the business long enough. Mainly to establish relationships with universities and students. You can also earn the same level of respect as any other reputed International Student Agencies by following the rules and ethical standards set by government authorities and industry associations representing overseas education consultants.
In this blog, we discuss six ways that you need to consider for building the business reputation of your agency.
Make Serious Efforts To Build Your Success Rate
Nothing can demonstrate business reputation and International Student Agencies’ strength better than their success rate. Both partner institutions and prospective international students are attracted to education agencies when they manage to get a high number of students enrolled at foreign universities.
Universities provide confirmation of enrollment based solely on documents. It is the International Student Agencies who are fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the prospective international students. So it is their responsibility to filter out and forward only those candidates who have a strong chance to get selected. International Student Agencies should not mislead candidates. Believing that they have a good chance of succeeding only for the sake of commission or service fee is misleading.
For study abroad consultants, it makes little business sense initially to turn away applicants who pay the fees for their services. But in the long run, International Student Agencies push applications forward without proper screening. This results in losing their business reputation and credibility. Partner institutions will have high regard only for those agencies who don’t compromise on due diligence while screening applicants.
More prospective international students with strong records will automatically flock to your education agency as your success rate gets better. To increase your success rate and monitor the smooth flowing of your business you can consider using an education consultant management system.
Help Students Find Scholarships
The cost of study weighs heavily on the minds of students as well as their parents and sponsors. That’s why Education Agents must make sincere efforts to help students find scholarships.
While it is easy for students with high academic performance to get financial aid, not all awards are solely merit-based.
Some scholarships are targeted at students from certain regions, some are subject-specific, while others are aimed at minorities and marginalized people from different parts of the world.
So International Student Agencies should inform all genuine and eligible candidates about the various scholarships opportunities available to them. They should be informed about other options such as discounts, semester fee waiver, if available.
Students can also check out the financial aid or scholarship section of the university websites, go to embassy websites or simply search the web for financial aid for international students.
Students who benefit from a scholarship with your guidance will be your brand ambassadors later on. They will happily promote your International Student Agencies. Word-of-mouth publicity is more effective than any other methods of publicity.
Institutional Accreditation & Affiliations Enhances Credibility
There are several ways to improve your International Student Agencies business reputation and credibility in the eyes of both partner institutions and your clients.
First of all, wherever applicable, you should get accreditation from a trusted authority that looks after international student recruitment sector.
Agencies should also get membership of one or more international student recruitment associations within the country they represent which can be managed with the help of education consultant management tool.
If you are working with American universities, the membership of American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) can give a real boost to your credibility. Likewise, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) membership can enhance the professional standing of education agents sending students to Australia. That will convince both partners and clients that you honor rules and adhere to certain professional standards.
Apart from the recognition that comes with being a member, you can also take part in seminars and gatherings, such associations occasionally organize.
Certifications And Training For Agents
Certifications and Training undertaken are the easiest way to demonstrate your agency’s expertise. You can display the certificates at your office as a proof of your agency’s commitment to keeping up with the industry’s professional standards. Keeping yourself updated with such training courses will keep your business reputation intact.
Education Agent Training Course (EATC) helps education agents get familiar with Australian Education System. It also gives you access to resources to help you remain aware of changes and developments. Similarly, ICEF provides many training courses and seminars designed to help International Student Agencies acquire industry knowledge and network. Therefore, the certificate you get at the end of ICEF Agent Training Course will make you look more trustworthy.
Undergoing British Council Foundation Certificate for Agents and British Council Advanced Certificate for Agents helps you to enroll in the British Council’s Global Agents List.
Canada Course for Education Agents (CCEA) helps you specialize in Canadian higher education system by supporting their professional development.
Tie-ups With Universities Signifies Trust
Your relationships with partner universities is another factor that adds to the business reputation and credibility of your Agency.
Many International Student Agencies operate just to provide assistance in filing applications and have no formal relationships with any colleges or universities. It might be okay for an overseas education consultancy that has just started out. But Agencies must expand their tie-ups with foreign universities if they want to grow.
Having some kind of association with foreign universities can improve your image among clients and other institutions. It will also help you improve your success rate. This is because it will be easier for you to get prospective students enrolled in your partner institutions.
Partner institution affiliation signifies that you are trustworthy by the university to provide proper guidance and counseling to prospective international students.
Impress Students With Superb Service
This is one area you can easily outshine other International Student Agencies. Scholarships or association memberships depend on approval from others. Unlike that, you don’t have to wait for a nod from others to make a good impression on your clients.
Make the best use of your resources to exceed the expectations clients have about professional personalized service from an agency. You can do that by hiring well-trained staff, treating your clients with respect, and using right kind of software.