My name is Magda Stefaniak and I am the Education Consultant / Recruiter for the Polish market.
I work for Australia Study Educational Services Poland Office.
Our team in Australia – representatives and countries where they recruit from:
Wojtek Wawrzynski – General Manager (Poland)
Tati Sumarna (Indonesia)
Michael Rete (Spain)
Michiyo Sugimoto (Japan)
Kia Sulander (Scandinavian market – Finland, Sweden, Norway)
Katin Kumsa- Ard (Thailand)
Nicolas Correa (Chile + Argentina and other LATAM countries)
Adrian Palczewski (Poland)
Tommy Sugianto (Indonesia)
This question does not have a clear answer as every market is different. The Polish market has recently been dominated by Vocational study students with a growth in higher education, but a decline in the ELICOS sector. In Chile, the market is constantly growing in numbers, especially in ELICOS. However, for Scandinavians they do not require any English language studies, as most of them are already fluent in English.
In the last 12 months I observed that students are looking for unique courses which sound outstanding, modern and practical.
An example is the Australian College of Business Intelligence, which has a very catchy name and looks good on a resume. They also initiate very practical and demanding courses like:
Another one is MnM Institute. Its Diploma of Business course has a major in Entrepreneurship where students can work with start-ups and also on their own business. This differentiates them from the many other Diploma of Business courses in the market. Another college is Ironwood Institute in Adelaide which offers Horticulture or Agrobusiness courses.
I don’t think it’s would be wise of me to mention only three of them, as in a few months the top 3 colleges may change. As an education agent, I need to be up to date with promotions, customer service rates and student satisfaction. In addition, offered courses and colleges depend on the profile of the student, their career goals and expectations.
What makes colleges to be at the top? As well as the study programs, students need to have a lecturer with passion and an understanding of international student cultures, mentality, issues and happiness. In addition, life as an international student is full of unpredictable situations which need to handled and sometimes assistance is required from the college.
International students are in Australia to get to know people from all around the world. Therefore, nationality mix really matters as well as additional effort from the college to enrich students’ social life by organising special events and activities (especially in the ELICOS sector). For VET and higher education, students check professional opportunities and if the college is able to connect them with the industry through networking events or industry internships which open the door to further employment. In addition, students are concerned with how interesting the lectures are and how encouraging the facilitators can be.
As mentioned above, customer service comes first. What’s the point of a few percent more commission if we spend more time on paperwork, solving student’s issues or even lose a student?
As an education agent, most of the pressure is from the student’s side which falls back on the education agency. Students recognise us as powerful people who represent particular colleges.
If things cannot be solved or are not organised within a timely and efficient manner, we may lose a student’s respect and trust.
Colleges pay approximately as per below:
For us, an additional budget is important for marketing purposes so we can expose the college to a broader audience.
We mainly take care of students in the markets we originally come from, so that we have a better understanding of their behaviour, questions and any problems they need to be aware of.
Our purpose is to be a guide or even a friend, rather than only provide a service. I don’t particularly like the word “agent” since we provide more than just a visa or college assistance. We are with our students when they need us. We believe that building a society which supports each other brings mutual benefits. We organise International Networking Events for international students in Adelaide, and for Polish and Finnish professionals in Sydney, as a way to gather people in one place and provide them with an opportunity to grow and network with individuals who have already experienced a similar path in their lives/careers.
Most of our students come from referral. Australia Study Educational Services wouldn’t exist if we didn’t focus on customer service and on students. We do not have business hours as our agency and students are not our business, but our life. And we live it 24/7.
It is important to: