Education Agents are often the first point of contact between Australian education providers and international students and their families (AEI 2009). Various reports note that at least half of Australia’s international students first seek information about studying in Australia from an Education Agent (Victoria University unpublished student surveys and VET Export Office 2009).
Therefore it is important that VTI member TAFE Institutes work diligently with Education Agents to ensure they provide sound, up-to-date information to prospective students and their families and represent the interests of the TAFE Institute or dual sector university well. The Agent relationship should be managed transparently to ensure the reputation of international TAFE is maintained. There is limited documentation freely available to education providers to assist them in managing risks associated with Education Agent management. This guide is the result of a 9-month collaboration and the sharing of best practice between 12 TAFE Institutes and four dual sector universities in Victoria.
The Best Practice Guide covers the quality cycle of engagement with Education Agents - from assessing suitability, recruitment, contracting, monitoring Education Agent performance and finally termination of agreement or the development of a new contract in the continuous improvement cycle. The Guide has more than 65 pages of specific examples, policies, templates, and checklists available to copy as best practice. It offers Criteria for Assessing, Managing & Evaluating Agent Relationships, details of VTI member TAFE Institutes Best Practice Initiatives in Agent Management and more.
Best Practice in Education Agent Management has recently won a national innovation award from the IEAA (International Education Association Australia).