Education agents counsel, provide advice and placement assistance to students who wish to study in Australia. These agents get paid by the educational institutions for the services they provide.
If you are planning to study and work in Australia, then it might be a life-changing decision for you, and you must be wondering whether to get assistance from an education agent or not. In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using an education agent. So stay tuned.
What are the Advantages of Using an Education Agent?
More and more students these days are using the services of an education agent. Nearly half of international students in Australia use the services of an education agency, and the agents place around three-quarters of students into English schools.
A reliable education agent will provide you with valuable support in deciding which course and education institution are the best for students. Here are a few benefits of choosing an education agent:
Education agents are experts in the education industry. They provide essential information about the institution and the local area to the students who may not know much about the place. They have extensive experience in the education industry and know international students problems.
They help to find a course according to a student’s interests. An experienced education agent knows what a student wants and assists them to find an institution that is perfect for them.
Education agents offer assistance to students at the most affordable rate and for the longest time possible.
They assist students to convert their offer letter to a CoE (Confirmation of Enrollment) and even help them with filling the application forms.
They also offer job and accommodation assistance.
Most education agencies in Australia use the services of a Registered Migration Agent who helps with student visa processing.
Agents know a lot more about inexpensive courses that students may not know. Different institutions and schools around Australia provide low-cost courses during different times of the year. Education agents might be able to provide you with a lot of information on such courses.
It’s important to note that services provided by an agent are free for students as the education provider pays them a commission. The role of an education agent is to make the admission process smooth and simple. Even if you've already selected the institution, you should still take help from education agents for other requirements that you may have.
If you are not sure about the agents, you can do your research on PIER (Professional International Education Resources).
What are the Disadvantages of Using Education Agents?
Similar to every industry, the education sector also consists of both good and bad agents. When deciding to study in Australia, beware of the education agents who might try to mislead you. Here are some disadvantages of using an education agent that you must look into:
They may direct a student into a course of their choice just to make a commission out of it. There are many institutions that pay a higher commission to the education agents, so they are likely to recommend an institution that is paying them well. You should watch out for such agents.
They may not show you all the options available. Few education agents represent some of the Australian educational institutions, and they might restrict themselves from showing you the full range of institutions. Getting limited options may direct you towards choosing an institution that does not fulfil your requirements.
They may fill out the school application form and file a visa with incorrect information. You should keep in mind that education agents in Australia are not authorised to process a visa application on behalf of a student. Only a Registered Migration Agent can do that. However, education agents are allowed to help students to understand the process of completing a visa application. Therefore, students must be vigilant if any education agent tries to give misleading information.
Things to Consider Before Choosing an Education Agent
Australian Government law states that every educational institution in Australia using the services of an education agent is required to have a contract with them.
Educational institutions in Australia usually have many agents appointed in a country. Make sure to consult a few of them so that you can compare and choose the best.
The Australian Government law also states that institutions need to display every education agent on their website, especially the ones who are representing them in each country.
Choose an education agent who has knowledge of Australian student visas, the education system and life in Australia.
It’s important to make sure that the agent you choose is an authorised representative of the institution you want to apply. You can check the letter of appointment given to them by the institution.
Before signing any document, read it thoroughly. If required, take help from a friend to understand what’s in the document.
A genuine education agent will help you with applications and will be completely honest with you about the application process. Always remember, education agents cannot guarantee a permanent visa or a work permit for international students in Australia.
If you are planning to seek advice from an education agent, make sure to explore as many options as possible so that you can make an informed decision. A qualified and reliable agent will save you a lot of time and effort and will guide you through the visa application process.
Useful Links to Explore: