Imagine how much more complicated the process is when the goal is to study abroad: evaluate options in different countries and in different languages, understand how your local qualifications fit into a different education system, find out what preparation or additional tests you might need. take, before you even start the application processes.
After securing a place at your chosen university, you must apply for a visa, arrange travel, accommodation and other requirements to get to and live in another country, often far from friends and family. So it’s no wonder that prospective students (and their parents) are looking to local school and independent guidance counselors and education agencies for advice and support.
And it is not surprising that universities and other types of education providers also value and support the work of these student advisors by providing specialist materials, in-country visits where they meet the students they support, and also through business arrangements to ensure their university is highlighted to interested students .
The British Council has always valued the role of international education advisers, whether working in schools, as independent advisers or as education agents. Their role in supporting UK study and supporting thousands of students each year on their journeys to the UK is hugely important to students, education providers and to the UK’s success in international education.
In December, we launched the Agent and Advisor Training and Engagement Center in the UK and expect to have over 20,000 individual agents and advisors signed up from around the world by the end of March 2023.
The Center provides all education advisers with access to up-to-date information and guidance on why students should choose the UK as a study destination, prepares students to study and live in the UK, understand the UK visa and immigration system and also raise awareness. job opportunities and job opportunities after graduation.
“Providing educational opportunities for foreign students is one of the most important tools of soft power”
Studying at their own pace, learning advisors can work their way through a series of eight short self-paced modules, testing their knowledge and learning as they progress and reinforcing it by taking a formal online assessment at the end of each module.
Experienced advisors can get straight to the assessment quickly. Those who successfully complete the tests and register with the National Code of Ethical Practice will become ‘UK Certified’, confirming their knowledge and understanding. Certified Consultants can be listed on a searchable UK database of Certified Agents and Consultants so that all stakeholders can verify that the chosen Education Consultant has the expected knowledge and skills.
Access to the center, training program and certification are free. The British Council invests in these initiatives to support advisers and agents with all the information they need to support international students considering studying in the UK.
Research shows that providing educational opportunities for international students is one of the most important tools of soft power. Here at the British Council, we care deeply about every international student having a positive experience so that they can continue to foster cross-cultural relationships from the moment they consider studying in the UK until they graduate and hopefully join the UK Alumni.
We understand that a positive experience should start from the first conversation with an agent or school counselor.
About the Author: Jacqui Jenkins is Head of Global Program – International Student Mobility and Marketing at the British Council.