International Recruitment: £60 Million Paid Out by UK Universities in 2011

Research by Times Higher Education Magazine has shed light on the world of the international university recruitment agents, suggesting many universities had ‘little idea’ how overseas agents were operating on their behalf.

It comes just days after an investigation by The Daily Telegraph found official agents boasting that they could secure places for overseas students with far worse grades than those expected of British pupils. One agent in Beijing – representing a number of leading Russell Group universities – claimed she could get students into sought-after institutions with three C grades, when British peers were required to gain As and Bs.

Income from students outside of Britain and Europe has more than doubled in the last decade and now accounts for almost 10 percent of universities’ total funding. Foreign students may pay up to eight times more than home students for their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In the study, Times Higher reported approximately 100 British universities used agents to enroll over 51,000 students from outside of Europe in the 2010-2011 school year. Majority of the foreign students that enrolled were from China.

Some of Britain’s most prestigious universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London did not use agents at all. Exemplifying how important it is to maintain a strong brand image and standards to will draw the target audience you desire.