WUAS is pleased to be attending the ICEF Workshop in Moscow this weekend and its Director of International Relations, Mr Peter Birdsall, has a full schedule booked to speak to agents from around Russia and its neighbouring countries in the region. “We are a private international University with more than 60 nationalities working and studying together in one of the most exclusively intercultural study environments in the Netherlands. We offer Bachelor and Master programmes in the School of Business and the School of Hospitality & Tourism and are looking forward to working with new agencies and partners to continue the growth of the current student body, as well as re-establishing and maintaining links with existing representatives”.
The use of agents for the recruitment of students in the Dutch higher education sector is not widely documented, although the National Commission, responsible for the Code of Conduct for International Students in the Netherlands, tries hard to monitor Universities’ use of study abroad agencies.
In the past 10 years, Wittenborg has built a good network of agencies in many of the key recruitment countries, such as China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal and Nigeria, however in the past three years has been working hard to develop many contacts in new countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia and South Africa, as well as closer to home, for instance in Germany and the UK.
Wittenborg attended its first ICEF Moscow workshop last year and the outing has immediately resulted in an increased interest from Russian-speaking students.
“We are hoping to further increase our internationality through these events” says Birdsall. “We reached our target of 50 different nationalities at any one time, two years ago and are now aiming at the next level: 75 different nationalities studying at Wittenborg in Apeldoorn by the end of this year!”, he adds with a smile.
About ICEF: Industry leading Higher Education Networking
The Higher Education Workshop facilitates targeted, pre-scheduled, one-to-one business meetings between educators, quality higher education focussed agents and international education service providers.
While most higher education institutions understand the importance of international student recruitment, many educators do not realise the crucial role agents play in the continued growth of this sector. Agents act as in-market representatives for institutions and provide culturally-aware counselling to students in their native languages. Agents also monitor all enrolment criteria prior to application, streamlining the entire process and saving work for university admissions departments.
ICEF is known for selecting the best and most professional agents to attend its events. This reputation was established, and is maintained, through ICEF’s thorough agent selection and screening procedure. Agents are required to provide verifiable data on their business practices, performance, and provide recent references from higher education partners.
ICEF Workshops bring together international educators and carefully screened, high-quality student recruitment agents at networking forums around the world devoted to achieving results and growing international student enrolments.
In contrast to student recruitment fairs and exhibitions, ICEF Workshops are closed to the general public, and take place in a private environment perfect for pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings between educators and agents selected for their quality and credentials. ICEF invites more agents than educators to ensure that institutions can fill each available appointment slot with useful and relevant contacts. In addition to targeted appointments, lunches, refreshment breaks and evening receptions offer further valuable networking opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere.
Educators value ICEF workshops because they can meet a diverse range of student recruitment agents from all over the world who have met ICEF's rigorous quality controls. They can increase their student enrolments by meeting and appointing new agents, extending relationships with existing contacts, obtaining market intelligence and feedback, and promoting their brand in the international education marketplace.
Agents use ICEF Workshops to easily source new worldwide educational programmes and providers for their portfolios, and to strengthen established business relationships - at one event in one location. They appreciate how ICEF Workshops cut down the amount of time and travel required to manage their business relationships.
ICEF Workshops are renowned for their organisation and sophistication - and most importantly, for the quality of educator / agent relationships they facilitate. They now occur annually around the world.