SYMPLED2018 – Education Agents, we gotta talk again!
The next stage in dialogue with education agents continues in Brisbane September 17, at the Symposium for Leading Education Recruitment 2018 – SYMPLED2018. . The only event for education agents to talk about the international education recruitment industry.
2018 is a watershed year for the value proposition of Australian international education. Changes in the assessments of student visas and work visas having downward pressure on students visas lodged and granted. English Australia has reported on that the outlook has deteriorated further, with government visa data up to April this year showing numbers from about half of the top 15 student source countries are in decline. “Although 2017 has been a record year for the English language sector there are underlying issues with market diversity and looking ahead, 2018 has revealed weaker student numbers,” according to Brett Blacker, CEO of English Australia.
Australia is being seen as a country that is not as welcoming as it once was – Melanie Macfarlane, an expert in student visas will speak on “Australia’s value proposition for international students in a changing immigration landscape”.
Further topics include the Department of Education and Training speaking on the new data and policy settings in ‘Transparency as a tool in a self-managed market’ Education agents are under scrutiny from the government with all education agent data being linked with student enrolments.
The Overseas Student Ombudsman has released an issues paper into education agents that identify gaps in the consumer protection systems as education agents are not regulated. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman received a total of 981 complaints from international students in 2016-17 and complaints concerning an education agent represent, on average, less than two per cent of complaints closed each year. The OSO will also be speaking at the event.
Further topics are a workshop on GTE – Genuine Temporary Entrant, student issues such as wage and accommodation exploitation, education agent automation of workflows, and the digital acquisition of students. The symposium will be the launch pad for a new education agent association in Australia – watch this space!