As the Partner Agency Scheme grows, we thought you'd like to find out a little more about our recognised partner agencies.
In this issue of the English UK Newsflash, our guest is Orion Judge. Orion is a director of SI UK, a multi-office agency which began in Japan and has now expanded into several other countries, with offices in Japan, London, Manchester, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and opening in Islamabad, Bangkok and Chengdu.
Hello Orion. Tell us how you started your agency
We started in 2006, in Japan, with myself and my fellow directors Dwain and Vicky. Agencies in Japan used to charge students for counselling and applications to get into FE and HE and we thought that was a bit off because they were receiving commission from universities and it was quite large amounts.
I was teaching, and students were asking me about applying to the UK universities. I had the necessary knowledge and background to advise students: I'd been in university for a while, love education and love teaching as well.
We provide a completely free service. Students can use our full support from counselling onwards, to overseas liaising with universities for free. In the past year we've processed 16,000 applications, generally 3-5 per student.
What do you like most about being an agent?
What really makes me very happy is sending students to the UK, particularly universities. It's one of the most liberal societies on the planet: for Japanese and Asian students and more particularly international students, they come back with a wealth of experience. I must say it positively affected their outlook on life, their views and values. Feminism, political view and values: those are the great things about the direction of British education, its society and culture. It's almost a cultural immersion, just lovely and it's good to feel very positive about sending students here."
Our university clients are really supportive, just lovely. I love getting students into their dream universities and programmes.
Quite often students come to see us and say they'd like to study economics. We'll check they're quite sure of outcomes of the programme, ask about their careers plan, and will sometimes confirm their decision and somtimes say this is a better subject for you. This is rewarding when students come back completely different people... they're political, willing to speak out on issues. It's quite a wondrous change particularly for women in Japan where there are still elements of chauvinism and in the workplace.
What made you want to join the Partner Agency Scheme?
We're expanding now into new markets. Boarding and English language will be more in demand for these students, particularly those from China and Thailand. We believe our organisation it going to be working more closely with language schools.
The Partner Agency Scheme does keep us in the loop.
The process we have to go through and accreditation is good and students recognise the English UK logo, especially in Japan. The students very clearly understand the value of it and that schools bearing it can be trusted to have a good quality education."
Please use the partner agency directory on our website to find out more about all English UK Partner Agencies.
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