International Student Agents: A crazy dynamic

Agents and their role in the recruitment of international students- especially Chinese students- has reached a near fever pitch with the over use of agents on one side of the scale and the denouncement of any use of agents on the other side. As usual the effective reality is somewhere in between.

| August 17, 2012

Agents and their role in the recruitment of international students- especially Chinese students- has reached a near fever pitch with the over use of agents on one side of the scale and the denouncement of any use of agents on the other side. As usual the effective reality is somewhere in between.

Direct connections between schools and colleges and potential Chinese students are non-existent, or, weak. Chinese families desire American college and private school experiences for their student. American schools and colleges lack Chinese infrastructures and don't understand, or control, domestic Chinese application processes.

The opening for someone to connect, and direct, the two sides is huge.

Our colleagues at Vericant brought an interesting info graphic "Agent Debate" to our attention. Agents work to fill the middle space I just laid out- connecting schools and families while working each side through the other's processes. And therein lies the crazy dynamic of an agent.

With whom does the agent's allegiance lie?

The agent receives compensation from the family and the school, which can give rise to an agent with most important allegiance- only to himself and his compensation. Agent is a needed role, but it's also a role ripe with dishonesty in so many ways.

I think, though, it's important to keep in mind that many agents work diligently and honestly. If they don't schools and colleges would drop them like hot potatoes.

Infographic by Genius Recruiter