Several studies have time and again shown that both universities and prospective international students find study abroad company very useful. So, just as you seek to establish university partnerships, the partner institutions also look for a study abroad company to help them identify and recruit students.
The Universities that use a study abroad company have a crucial role to play in recruitment activities. They openly admit that agents are necessary for expanding their visibility and attracting overseas students in a highly competitive recruitment environment.
Therefore, finding a partner institution to work with should not be that difficult. But it is worth remembering that although competition among higher education institutions for international students is fierce, most of them still conduct a thorough research about the study abroad company before appointing them as a local partner.
So here are a few things a study abroad company needs to consider when venturing out to seek affiliations with foreign educational institutions.
Express Interest in University Partnerships
In order to establish a connection, you must first connect. You can reach out to would-be partner institutions in several ways. It can simply be an expression of interest through an email or phone that would be easily available on their website. Make sure that you contact the designated person wherever applicable. Another way to get in touch with partner institution representatives is by attending education fairs and seminars. Such gatherings provide you with the opportunity to pitch your interest and suitability directly. You can also invite the representatives to visit your office to discuss your proposal.
Register or Fill Out Forms
In most cases, getting a partner connection starts with filling out forms. Most universities would have the forms available on their website. Others may send the forms through email upon receiving your request. Some might ask the study abroad company to fill up forms first, but others may want to know you better before asking you to go ahead and fill the forms. Whatever the procedure, the forms are mainly designed to let partner institutions assess your suitability. This in turn will help you strengthen your university partnerships.
The abroad study consultancy may have a hard time managing the forms submitted by the students. The files may be lost or even damaged.
Demonstrate Market Knowledge
More than anything else, partner institutions would be interested in your understanding of the market. So, make sure to back your claims about the market with hard data, wherever possible. Your data-driven approach to tap market potential signals your seriousness toward your business. You need to have your answers ready to questions related to market size, popular courses, and the attitude of the prospective students and their parents. Once you have the answers to these questions, the next challenge is to find the right way to tap that market. What are the best methods to reach out to the prospects? When is the best time to organize education seminars? When is the ideal time for university representatives to make a visit?
Display Familiarity About Relevant Acts & Laws
No partner institutions like to get dragged into the controversy, especially the legal ones. Your familiarity with relevant acts and laws will reassure them of controversy-free dealings. It is much easier to take would-be partner institutions into confidence by demonstrating knowledge about laws and regulations. For example, you are likely to build an instant rapport with Australian universities if you can demonstrate a good knowledge of ESOS (Educational Services for Overseas Students) Act, the National Code, and CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutes and Courses for Overseas Students).
Many other destination countries have a similar well-developed legal framework to regulate their higher education market. A study abroad company working with partner institutions in other countries also abide by a professional code of conduct developed and recommended by industry associations or reputed organizations such as the British Council and the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).
These rules, laws, and acts are aimed at helping agents and universities follow good practices. It shows that the study abroad company is responsible and respects the rules and likes to keep things straight and transparent. This is crucial for university partnerships.
Invest In Office Setup
Of course, having a splendid office makes the task of conducting business much easier and convenient. But a well-furnished and well-equipped office also signals your long-term plan to stay in the industry. On top of that, it also adds to your credibility and reputation in the eyes of both the prospective students and the partner institution.
All universities want their local partner to have a good office. That’s because it allows them to send their prospective students to your office to get more information on the courses and other aspects of studying abroad. Needless to say, having an office located in the city center, can make a huge difference in the way would-be partners see you.
Another good investment for your office would be the right kind of Agency Management Software. Agentcis is one of the tools which allows you to organize your business so well that you’ll rarely experience any troubles in your dealings with partner institutions or prospective students.
Here are other things you need to consider before starting an education agency.
Show Your Desire for Continuous Improvements
There are several ways to show your would-be partners that you are serious about your professional growth. Have a good website and update it regularly. Make sure that you and your study abroad company take those education agent courses which are recognized by the industry. Each new certification would add to your education agency’s reputation. To keep up with the recent trends, you should explore new opportunities and attend or organize education fairs and seminars on a regular basis. This is important to nurture and maintain your university partnerships.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller, Hubspot