Mat Wright

In addition to creating the National Code of Ethical Practice and enhancing the British Council Training Suite, one of the key recommendations for the Quality Assurance Framework was the creation of a Good Practice Guide for UK Providers Using Education Agents.

Where the National Code is designed to maintain standards and highlight good practice among education agents, the Good Practice Guide is designed to do the same for education providers.

Research suggests that there is a lot of very good practice already in existence among UK education providers, but there is room for improvement. Feedback from education agents and counsellors has helped to shape the content of the Good Practice Guide with your insights providing a valuable different perspective for the institutions.

You told us that you would like education providers work with agents to focus more on:

• Collaborative planning and joint expectation setting – working together as partners

• different performance metrics (e.g. quality, market intelligence) not just enrolment targets

• student’s experience and outcomes

• creating clear pathways for students to provide feedback on their experience of using education agents

• Publishing the details of contracted education agents on their website

• giving clarity to students about the commercial relationship between providers and agents

All of these points have been addressed in the Good Practice Guide which will help more institutions deliver best practice and strengthen the relationships between providers and agents.

Institutions are being encouraged to embed as much good practice as possible (within constraints of their individual institutions) in their work with education agents and counsellors, leading to a more collaborative partnership and ultimately a better experience for our international students.