The Hard Facts about Intensive English Student Recruitment

If things were not challenging enough for Intensive English Programs or IEPs,  the concentration of students coming from just a few destinations makes obtaining program balance and diversity an ongoing battle.   The latest Open Doors IEP Profile indicates that four countries account for 60% of all students in IEP programs.

Saudia Arabia- 27%- in many cases the overall percentage may be has high as 50% of total program numbers

China-15%- in many cases the percentage may be as high of 50% of total program numbers

Korea- 10 %

Japan-8%

While certainly important future host markets for international students- Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam still account for relatively small percentages of IEP students  due to visa challenges, financial limitations and overall host market size.   Those IEP schools that are not embracing the runaway trend of funded scholars from the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, will have no choice but to pursue these students to maintain or grow IEP numbers in the near future.  

 

 

Re: International Students continue to grow in the U.S- China and Middle East lead the way!

The Institute for International Education, IIE,  released it’s annual profile of international students in the United States today.   It is no surprise that China continues to lead the way as the largest host market for international students, nearly 200,000 Chinese students are now studying the U.S. and this accounts for more than 25% of all international students.  Saudi Arabia showed the largest growth increase, over a 50% increase from 2011 and the Middle East Region as a whole showed marked increases.

A breakdown of the top countries of origin in the U.S. follows below:

% of Total                    % Change from 2011

1) China- 194, 029-                     25.4                             23.1

2) India- 100, 270                        13.1                              -3.5

3) South Korea-72, 295               9.5                                -1.4

4)  Saudi Arabia- 34, 139           4.5                                  50.4

5) Canada- 26, 821                   3.5                                 -2.6

6)  Taiwan- 23, 250                    3.0                                  -6.3

7) Japan- 19, 966                      2.6                                   -6.2

8) Vietnam- 15, 572                   2.0                                    4.6

9) Mexico- 13, 893                    1.8                                    1.3

10) Turkey- 11, 973                  1.6                                    -1.7

California ETEC has been helping U.S. schools develop strategies to begin or expand student recruitment for many years and is pleased to offer proven recruitment strategies for institutions seeking to grow their international student profile.   California ETEC has a global reach with offices in China and Vietnam.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All U.S. Institutions issuing F-1 Visas will be required to obtained regional or national accredition

California ETEC has been monitoring and informing our institutional partners and  overseas multipliers about the movement by the U.S. government to require ESL providers( issuing F-1 visas) to hold national or regional accreditation.    After extensive investigation by DHS( including a major GAO investigative report),  now all institutions in the U.S. that issue I-20′s will be required by the U.S. government to obtain national or regional accreditation.   It is our hope this new development will help remove the loopholes that have allowed bad actors such as Tri-Delta College to exploit international students.

Please read the latest story that has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

August 2, 2012

House Passes Bill Requiring Accreditation of Colleges With Foreign Students

By Karin Fischer

Washington

Acting to close a major loophole in the student-visa system, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation requiring colleges and universities that enroll foreign students to be accredited.

By a voice vote, lawmakers on Wednesday night passed a bill, HR 3120, that would require all higher-education institutions that enroll 25 or more students on nonimmigrant visas to have national or regional accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

If approved by the U.S. Senate, the measure—which was proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat—would eliminate a significant shortcoming in visa law, passed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, that has allowed fraudulent universities to take in thousands of foreign students and essentially sell them the right to work in the United States.

“The accreditation requirements instituted by this bill will prevent illegitimate institutions from cheating foreign students who legitimately seek a bona fide education in the United States,” Ms. Lofgren said on the House floor on Tuesday night. “In addition, this requirement will prevent fly-by-night institutions from engaging in student-visa fraud to smuggle or traffic persons into the country.”

Representative Lofgren introduced the legislation in response to the raid and closure of one such institution in California, Tri-Valley University, which was the subject of an extensive Chronicleinvestigation. Although Tri-Valley had no real campus and its students were spread across the country, it was able to win approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to accept overseas students by—falsely, it turns out—asserting that its credits had been accepted by three accredited colleges. Under current law, that was enough. The institution, dubbed a “sham university” by federal investigators, didn’t need to have accreditation itself.

Chronicle reporting uncovered a number of other institutions that appear to have exploited the same loophole in student-visa law or claimed accreditation from little-known, and potentially self-invented, accrediting agencies.

A System Vulnerable to Fraud

The House legislation would require that colleges hold accreditation from accrediting bodies recognized by the Education Department in order to be part of the student-visa system. The bill also would prohibit anyone convicted of an immigration violation, including visa fraud or human trafficking, from being in a position of authority at a college approved to participate in the visa system or from having oversight of international-student records.

If the measure becomes law, colleges will have a three-year window to meet the new accreditation requirement, although the secretary of homeland security would have the authority to waive the mandate if an institution is found to be making a good-faith effort to earn accreditation and is otherwise in compliance with visa rules.

Seminaries and other religious-education institutions would be exempt from the accreditation provision.

Victor C. Johnson, senior adviser for public policy at Nafsa: Association of International Educators, called the legislation a “responsible” and “appropriate” response to the problems that have beset the student-visa system, while providing the homeland-security secretary with some discretion. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the visa program has serious flaws and is vulnerable to fraud.

The fate of the bill—or of any measure in this campaign-shortened Congressional session—is unclear, but a bipartisan group of senators said last week they planned to introduce legislation toimprove oversight of the student-visa system. The measure is still being drafted, but sponsors said it would impose stiffer penalties on those who commit fraud by running bogus institutions, would require that unaccredited schools and colleges in the visa system be visited by federal investigators annually, and would ensure that academic institutions enrolling international students are certified by their home states.

Senators, who held a hearing in the wake of the GAO report, said they also would consider a provision excluding unaccredited institutions from the visa program, as part of the legislation.

Currently, only independent English-language programs are required to hold accreditation in order to enroll foreign students, a law that the langugage schools themselves pushed for in order to weed out bad actors.

Re: SPECIAL Thailand Study Fair Discount Package Available for for-profit colleges and vocational training institutions- October 26-28th, Bangkok, Thailand

California ETEC is pleased to announce a special promotion in conjunction with California Step to offer for-profit education and training providers a special discount at the Thailand Office of Civil  Service Study Fair and Agent networking reception in Bangkok, Thailand. STEP is a pilot export Initiative funded by the Small Business Administration(SBA).

Interested institutions should contact Mark Matsumoto:

c/o- California ETEC

mark@studycalifornia.org

 

The slow pace of education reform in Vietnam gives rise for unique promotion opportunities for U.S. education providers

California ETEC has been a leading promoter of Vietnam as a key target market for U.S. education and training providers due to the size of the market and acute capacity development needs in-country.  In fact,  CA ETEC formalized cooperation with the U.S. government in 2011 to open a stand-alone center (VETEC™) to exclusively brand and promote U.S. education and support active student recruitment in Vietnam.    The timing of  VETEC™ -opening in Fall 2012 seems ideal.

Original article is linked below-

School stampede highlights Vietnam education woes

Posted: Jun 26, 2012 2:41 AM PDTUpdated: Jun 26, 2012 2:41 AM PDT

By MIKE IVES
Associated PressHANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Dao Quoc Huy and his wife joined other anxious parents camped outside Thuc Nghiem primary school at 3 a.m. When the sun came up, the crowd crushed against the metal entrance gate until it fell – hurdling bushes and losing flip-flops in a frenzied sprint to nab coveted application forms.The school is one of Vietnam’s only public institutions emphasizing American-style learning instead of rote memorization. Roughly 600 kindergartners from around the capital were vying for the 200-odd spots available this fall.”It’s like playing the lottery,” said Huy, 35, who hoped his daughter would be among the chosen. “We need luck.”

The recent stampede, which resulted in a few minor bruises but no arrests, underscores a problem experts say weighs heavily on Vietnam’s graying communist leadership: Nearly four decades after the Vietnam War, the country’s education system remains so corrupt and backward it’s impeding economic growth. And the rising middle class is now desperate for alternatives.

In this Confucian nation where education is a national obsession, schools at all levels are hampered by cheating, bribery and a lack of world-renowned programs and researchers. The result is a surging number of Vietnamese students are attending international-style private schools and later overseas colleges and universities.

Although average income here is just $1,400, more than 30,000 Vietnamese were studying at foreign higher learning institutions last year. Vietnam ranks fifth highest worldwide for its student enrollments in Australia, and eighth for enrollments in the U.S., placing it above Mexico, Brazil and France.

The number of Vietnamese studying in the U.S. has increased sevenfold from about 2,000 over the past decade. Most of the nearly 15,000 who were studying in the U.S. last year were not on scholarships to well-known schools, but instead attending community colleges paid by their families, according to the New York-based Institute of International Education.

Unlike universities in neighboring China where communist leaders enacted sweeping reforms in the 1980s, Vietnam’s schools are not keeping pace with an increasingly globalized world, experts say. The government has instead preserved a system promoting inefficient central management and a lack of critical thinking. Up to 10 percent of coursework remains devoted to the teachings of Marx, Lenin and late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh.

Vietnam’s educational model is “one size fits all,” and the country’s leaders “should have done more to make education one of its assets,” said Mai Thanh, a World Bank senior education specialist in Hanoi. “I see it as a missed opportunity.”

 

for the rest the article please click below:

http://www.newswest9.com/story/18879315/school-stampede-highlights-vietnam-education-woes?clienttype=printable

 

 

Re: Still no consensus on the use of study agents to recruit international students.

This article was originally published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on June 1st, 2012.

The topic of working with agents continues to engender controversy and likely will never be resolved.   CA ETEC has working relationships with credible organizations such as ICEF who match vetted agents with schools who wish to recruit through study abroad agencies.  It is also our belief that organizations such as AIRC are serving a benefit to schools by providing some baseline standards of ethical behavior for study agents.

California ETEC also believes that schools should consider non-agent recruitment options.    We have developed a number of customized recruitment options for U.S. institutions in Asia, particularly in China and S.E. Asia, and will open VETEC in Ho Chi Min City to provide U.S. schools alternative promotion and recruitment options .   * A new model of recruitment outside of the traditional methods of using study agents or participating in high cost, low yield study fairs

 

June 1, 2012

State Dept. Draws Criticism Over Policy on Paid Recruiters of Foreign Students

By Karin Fischer

Houston

The U.S. Department of State has overstepped its authority in issuing a policy against the use of paid recruiters for overseas students.

That was the charge made during a panel discussion on Friday, the final day of the annual meeting of Nafsa: Association of International Educators.

Mitch Leventhal is a founder of the American International Recruitment Council, or Airc, a group that develops standards of ethical practices and a system for certifying overseas recruiters. Federal law says that government agencies should defer to industry-based standards, unless those standards are illegal or otherwise impractical, Mr. Leventhal said at a session on the pros and cons of working with agents.

So when the State Department issued a 2009 policy directive prohibiting its overseas EducationUSA student-advising centers from forming partnerships or working with recruitment agents paid on a per-student basis, Mr. Leventhal argued, the department was wrongly superseding the authority of Airc, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as a standards-development organization.

“We’re not a professional organization lobbying on behalf of a group. We’re not advocating on behalf of agents. We’re a standards-setting and regulatory body,” Mr. Leventhal said of Airc. He was the group’s first president and remains on its Board of Directors.

By setting a policy on agents for its overseas advisers, the State Department is establishing a “de facto standard” and has “directly undermined” Airc’s effort, said Mr. Leventhal, who is vice chancellor for global affairs at the State University of New York. Agents hired by his and other institutions are barred from popular overseas EducationUSA fairs.

According to the law, the State Department has to submit a report to the White House Office of Management and Budget explaining why its policy should be followed in place of voluntary industry-set standards, Mr. Leventhal said. He asked whether the State Department had applied for and received a waiver from the White House office.

Reached for a response, Meghann Curtis, deputy assistant secretary for academic programs at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, said that the department was aware that there is “a lack of consensus” on the use of agents. “Our directive to the State Department-funded EducationUSA centers applies to advisers within our network,” she said in a written statement. “To meet the State Department’s public-diplomacy mission, EducationUSA provides comprehensive information to international students about the entire range of accredited U.S. colleges, universities, and programs in our effort to help students find the best possible match with their abilities, needs, and interests. Working with commission-based recruiters is inconsistent with this public-diplomacy mission.”

A Competitive Disadvantage

While Airc’s standards were unanimously approved by its members, there is hardly consensus on the use of paid recruiters, an issue that remains one of the most contentious in international education and admissions circles.

Mr. Leventhal and others who favor the use of agents argue that, by paying and regulating foreign recruiters, American institutions have greater control of the process. (Paying agents to recruit American students is not permitted by federal financial-aid law.)

Agents on the ground can better serve students and their families because they know the culture and are part of the community, supporters of paying agents say. And, they argue, American colleges are put at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t hire recruitment agents because they are used so widely by countries like Britain and Australia.

For their part, the State Department and other opponents of the practice say it puts a profit motive ahead of students’ interests. It’s wrong to restrict student options to colleges that offer monetary incentives, the critics say, and agents chasing commissions could press students to enroll in institutions merely to make a quota. That could harm the reputation of American education abroad, they fear.

A commission organized by the National Association for College Admission Counseling is now examining the issue and will make recommendations on international-student recruitment. The association had considered a proposal to immediately bar its member colleges from using commission-based agents but opted instead to convene a panel.

David Hawkins, the group’s director of public policy and research and a panelist at Friday’s discussion, said the NACAC committee, which held its first meeting in March, is continuing its deliberations and will meet again formally in October.

The admissions group, he said, had entered into the debate over payments for agents because more and more of its members are recruiting international students.

“We were asked to get involved by our members,” Mr. Hawkins said. “Many of our members are being not asked but told by their college presidents to go out and get foreign students.”

He added: “This is not theoretical. It is not esoteric. This is a practical debate.”

 

VETEC™ launch announced at 2012 NAFSA Conference in Houston

California ETEC announced the opening of VETEC™ in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at the recently concluded NAFSA Conference in Houston, Texas.    The Vietnam Education and Training Center or VETEC™ is a partnership between California ETEC and the U.S. Department of Commerce,  International Trade Administration.

The VETEC™ booth received strong interest from attending participants at the NAFSA Conference.    Many U.S. schools indicated the need for an organization such as California ETEC-directly supported by the U.S. government-  to provide in-country branding and promotional support to better compete against highly aggressive English speaking competitors from Australia, Canada, Singapore and the U.K.   VETEC™ expands upon California ETEC’s continuous efforts over the past eight years promoting U.S. Education in Vietnam, Thailand and S.E. Asia and seeks to be an integral resource for U.S. providers seeking to pro-actively engage the Region.

California ETEC will soon be announcing Grand Opening Kick Off Events.  Please visit our new VETEC™ webportal,   www.vetecusa.com, for further updates.

VETEC Booth at the 2012 NAFSA Conference, Houston, Texas

CA ETEC formalizes alliance with ICEF to help U.S. institutions meet vetted overseas study agents

 

2011 ICEF North American Workshop Miami, Florida

As part of its goal to promote the US as a study destination, CA ETEC is committed to the proliferation of resources and opportunities that give US education providers a competitive advantage in the international education market. As part of this mandate, CA ETEC maintains an alliance with ICEF; the world’s leading organizer of educator-agent networking events, including the ICEF North America Workshop, an event connecting US educators with fully vetted, international educational agents.

Since its first occurrence, the ICEF North America Workshop has expanded vigorously every year. In 2011, this workshop grew by an impressive 17%, stimulated by a 29% increase in the number of attending higher education institutions, who now constitute the largest educational sector represented at the workshop (38% – the other participants being evenly divided between secondary and language schools). This numbers demonstrate an unmistakable growing tendency among educators to embrace educational agents as a reliable source of high quality international students.

In total, the ICEF Miami 2011 Workshop hosted 661 participants, including 217 North American educational institutions (USA 151, Canada 55, International 11), 38 exhibitors and 304 student recruitment agents from 57 countries around the world.

These agents must pass a rigorous screening procedure in order to attend; among other things, they must submit detailed references from North American partners, and provide information on the number of students they have sent to North America in the last year.

The top Agent countries represented were: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Turkey, Germany, UK, Vietnam, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Nigeria.

Access to high quality student recruitment agents is not the only reason why a large and increasing number of educators choose to attend ICEF events; participants at these workshops also benefit from market intelligence seminars and informal networking occasions, which provide market intelligence and insider tips for the critical edge in international student recruitment.

As part of the alliance with ICEF, CA ETEC attends the ICEF North America workshop as an exhibitor, which allows us to draw attention to our members and promote California as a study destination to hundreds of highly professional educational agents.

In addition, CA ETEC’s arrangement with ICEF allows us to provide participating institutions from California with advantageous pricing discounts.

The 2012 ICEF North America Workshop – Miami, will take place at Loews Miami Beach Hotel from December 02 – 04.

For more information on ICEF events go to www.icef.com, for special pricing available to CA ETEC members, contact Diana Forman at dforman@icef.com

CA ETEC to introduce the Vietnam Education and Training Center(VETEC™) at the 2012 NAFSA Conference- A new model for expanding student recruitment and exchange

California ETEC will be introducing VETEC™ at the 2012 NAFSA Conference in Houston, Texas.   The Vietnam Education and Training Center(VETEC™) is a collaborative partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, to provide U.S. education institutions an in-country marketing platform to begin or expand student recruitment efforts  in Vietnam.   VETEC™ will offer many advantages to schools seeking to pro-actively engage the Vietnam market including:

  • Prime Office location in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Timely market research and intelligence gathering
  • Bi-lingual, experienced staff
  • High impact branding and promotions
  • Exclusive promotion of U.S. Education and Training

VETEC™ does not accept commissions for student placements and offers an alternative recruitment strategy for schools limited to-date with either working through study agents or participating in high-cost, low yield study fairs.

Please visit our booth,  # 1311

http://acsearch.nafsa.org/exhibitors.aspx

 

Recruiting Students in Thailand- Fall Event Package in Bankgok, October 26-28th, 2012

OCSC Fair in Bangkok, Thailand

For the eighth consecutive year,  California ETEC( CA ETEC) is cooperating with the Thai Government,  Office of Civil Service Commission(OCSC) to coordinate a US presence and to maximize effectiveness of participation in the OCSC International Education Fair,  October 26-28th.  This annual event in Bangkok draws more than 25,000 student attendees and provides the opportunity  to meet individually with Thai Scholars ( top students granted full-ride scholarships from various Thai Ministries).

Full Support Package includes:

  • Individual appointments with Thai Scholars
  • Exclusive Study Agent Networking Event- pre-set meetings with TIECA study agents
  • Booth Registration
  • Localization package( including booth graphics and Thai-English interpreters)
  • Literature facilitation and other on-site logistical support

A follow-on promotion in Vietnam supported by CA ETEC’s VETEC Center                         ( www.vetecusa.com) is also available to U.S. schools.  

For further event details and registration please contact: info@vetecusa.com