Education agents take big slice of the pie from Australian Universities

According to an article written by Mark Dunn in Herald Sun (published from Melbourne) EDUCATION agents are making a fortune in commissions by recruiting foreign students for Melbourne universities and private colleges.

There are 135,000 foreign students in Melbourne and hundreds more are added each month.

Education agents, many of whom work offshore in India and China, are paid commissions — derived from student fees — of $2000 to $7000 for each additional foreign student they recruit, according to Federation of Indian Students of Australia secretary Gautam Gupta.

Mr Gupta said between 10 and 40 per cent of foreign student fees was given to agencies instead of being invested in courses and teachers. “We know some agents are charging up to 40 per cent of annual fees,” Mr Gupta said. He cited offshore agents Planet and Storm as being big players in the foreign recruitment market.

And while attractive recruitment commissions are paid, a handful of the 180 Melbourne education providers are failing to deliver on courses. Australian Government officials have deregistered eight private colleges in Melbourne for failing to meet basic standards in the past three years.

The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development listed the deregistered facilities as:

MELBOURNE College of Technology and High School.

VICTORIA Institute of International Studies.

WORK & Training Limited.

COMPUTER Power Group.

THE Victorian Business School, trading as Victorian Business College.

CIVIL Flying School — Australian College of Aviation.

L & G Australia Hair & Beauty College.

INTERNATIONAL Business and Hospitality Institute Australia.

Apart from Computer Power Group, which went into liquidation, the other facilities were deregistered for non-compliance with one or more of 15 national standards.

Dan Winther
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