New tools to help agents better understand the UK as an international study destination
13 December 2022

New tools to help agents better understand the UK as an international study destination

Three important new tools have been launched to help education advisers all around the world better understand the UK education system and the UK as an international study destination.  

The tools are free and include:

UK agent and counsellor training and engagement hub 

The British Council's newly revealed 'UK agent and counsellor training and engagement hub' aims to be a one-stop-shop for agents and counsellors to engage with the UK as a study destination. 

It provides agents and counsellors with completely free crucial resources, including online training and assessment, and covers all levels of international education, be it study at an English language school, independent school, college, or higher education provider. The centralised hub has been developed to ensure agents have easy access to the right information, skills and tools to help them in their work, as well sharing best practice, and announcements and updates from the UK government and UK sector bodies.   

By completing the hub's agent training course and signing up to the national code of ethical practice for education agents, agents will be able to become certified. In addition, international students, their parents and institutions will be able to check whether their agent has undertaken this via a public-facing searchable database of certified agents. 

The training course and hub, which was developed by the British Council in partnership with BUILA, UKCISA, the Association of Colleges, the Council of British Independent Schools (COBIS) and English UK is fully supported and endorsed by UKVI and was officially launched at the BUILA One-Day Conference for Directors on Wednesday 7 December 2022.   

UK Quality Assurance Framework 

The three new tools form a vital part of the UK's Agent Quality Assurance Framework, an education sector wide initiative to maintain quality and sustain international student recruitment.

The framework was built from recommendations coming out of extensive research commissioned by BUILA and UKCISA with agents, counsellors, universities and other internationally facing education institutions, and most importantly international students themselves.

It includes:

  • a national code of ethical practice
  • a good practice guide for educational providers using agents, as well as one for agents and counsellors partnering with UK providers
  • tops tips for students in selecting agents
  • the British Council training and communication hub
  • plus a database of certified agents and counsellors. 

It is designed to enhance the close partnership between the UK education sector and agents and counsellors around the world, and to share best practice. It recognises the critical role that agents and counsellors play in attracting and supporting international students wishing to study in the UK.  

By creating a positive, student-first framework that encourages good practice, rather than legislating against bad practice, the UK has put itself in a world leading position when it comes to agent engagement says Mark Pettitt, founder at consulting firm Edified which carried out initial research for the project. 

The framework was introduced to English UK member centres on Tuesday 6 December 2022 through a free training masterclass with Edified, facilitated by our colleagues at BUILA.

Further information: 

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