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  • International Study

What can you do to create a good agent-university relationship?

November 23, 2018

You can’t make cookies without the right sugar. You won’t create the perfect omelette without cracking a couple of eggs.

And you definitely can’t maximise the success of your university’s enrollment strategies without reliable international student recruitment agents.

Why are international student recruitment agents so important?

Agents are the connection between international students, their home countries and their future university. They help incoming overseas students manage and navigate the application process. And they even provide attractive benefits to universities, such as:

  • Reducing the workload of admissions staff.
  • Increasing the university’s brand awareness in international markets.
  • Providing valuable “on-the-ground” intel to the university.
  • Bringing qualified students to campus.

What do you need to create a good agent-university relationship?

Clearly, education agents are a major benefit to any student or university. But, as is true with most things, these benefits are only as good as the people who produce them. As such, building strong university-agent relationships is crucial.

A recent study by the industry consultancy Intead and the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) found that there are three core pillars of any good university-agent relationship.

1. Work with a few trusted agencies

Strong relationships produce better results and happier universities. According to the study, universities are more likely to say they are “very satisfied” with their agency partners when they work with a small number of agencies.

Over 50 per cent of those same institutions work with 10 agencies or less. Keeping this same limited base of partners allows your relationship to flourish and often leads to increases in engagement and overall satisfaction between both agents and universities.

2. Incentives schemes help

The study found a correlation between compensation schemes offered by universities and the results of their international student agents.

Around a quarter of the university participants claimed to offer agents a financial bonus for exceeding enrolment targets. Those same institutions were much more likely to agree that agents “help increase international enrolment numbers” and “send us qualified candidates” than universities that offered no incentives scheme.

3. Personal connections are the heart of it all

It’s no real surprise that putting an active effort into nurturing your agent-university relationship is the most reliable predictor of success. Things go a lot more smoothly if you take the time to talk, show appreciation, keep your promises, and develop trust.

Be selective about the agents you partner with and once you find the right match, make sure you are constantly communicating, compensating them fairly and building a mutually beneficial relationship. If you can master this, you can truly create a dream team scenario, smashing your international student recruitment goals along the way.

Keen to learn more?

The biggest takeaway from the survey? There is an overwhelmingly positive view of agents among university respondents.

  • 88 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed that agents are an effective channel when recruiting in new markets,
  • 73 per cent said the same for markets where the university already has an established presence.

Cohort Go knows how to help you continue to better relationships with your students and your universities. It’s what we’re passionate about.

To learn more about how we can get your relationships off to a flying start reach out to us today!

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