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Agents and Third-Party Recruiters in International Higher Education

Altbach, Philip G.

A specter is now haunting international higher education—the dramatic proliferation of third-party recruiters and agents. Their job is to recruit prospective students in countries that send large numbers of students abroad to study at specific institutions as well as to provide general information about studying abroad. Many officials are authorized by academic institutions in the receiving countries—specifically in the United States, Britain, and Australia—to offer admission to students and facilitate their enrollment.While by no means a new trend, this phenomenon is growing in size, scope, and notoriety, as international enrollments have become a compelling part of some universities’ bottom lines. The operators, of course, do not work without any source of income. They are paid by the universities that utilize them, usually by providing a fee, based on how many students are enrolled. Sometimes, shockingly, they are also paid by prospective students.This article has a simple argument that agents and recruiters are impairing academic standards and integrity and should be eliminated or severely curtailed. Providing information to prospective students is fine, but money should not change hands during the admissions process, and universities should not hand the power to admit—after all, a key academic responsibility—to agents or entities overseas.

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Document Title: Agents and Third-Party Recruiters in International Higher Education
Journal: International Higher Education
Volume: 62
No. of Pages: 11-14

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Institutional Management
Keywords:Internationalisation of Higher Education, Agents and Recruiters,, Enrolment Trends, Entrepreneurial University, Employment Statistics

File Size:62 KB
Date Added:25 August 2011

Agents and Third-Party Recruiters in International Higher Education