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When a university allows agencies in other countries (perhaps in the same country?) to recruit students for them, as I understand it, the university will pay the agency some fee for each student admitted. How is the compensation calculated?

Are there universal standards? Perhaps by country? If no standards exist, how would one even start the negotiations with the agencies?

Related to this question is how the agencies protect themselves while the university also protects itself. What if a student comes to the university and forgets to say "ABC Ltd sent me" but later ABC finds out that their student did start and now ABC wants paid.

I'm specifically curious about UK universities and undergraduate students entering universities focusing on business/economics but any information about other geographical areas / subjects could also be helpful.

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    I'd expect such rates to be jealously guarded, just as companies sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) with headhunters searching for employees. That said, a logical starting point for negotiations would be a certain percentage of the first year's tuition. – Stephan Kolassa Mar 17 '15 at 12:32
  • The recruiting agency should have a signed contact with the student. – mkennedy Mar 17 '15 at 13:23
  • @StephanKolassa Great. Any idea what that point would be? I'd hate to start at 25% only to find out that they normally accept 5%. – earthling Mar 17 '15 at 13:25
  • @mkennedy Are you saying that it is not the university that pays but rather it is the student who pays? – earthling Mar 17 '15 at 13:25
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    I've never heard of a student recruiting agency, so...but how else will you know about the connection? Emails perhaps. – mkennedy Mar 17 '15 at 13:36
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This is the only reference to their compensation I could find. In the UK case, average compensation/student in 2013 was about £4,300, which is about 50% of maximum annual tuition UK universities can charge to EU students (a limit that apparently does not apply to internationals) - all data as presented in the linked article. As other comments mentioned, and they seem ubiquitous, I'd request a sample of their standard contracts to get a better idea. This site seems to have decent traffic. Like all related links I could find, it rings all kind of alarm bells, but maybe you find it of use. For the U.S. case, someone put together some legal advice which you can download (as all this strikes me as fishy, I didn't dare to, so unsure if it's useful). I would definitely talk to your own school's legal counsel before taking any steps.

  • Thanks. Reading through, I saw this link which said 51,000 students were recruited and UK schools paid 220m - which calculates to over 4,300 GBP/student. That sounds like a lot to get one student. Wow! – earthling Mar 17 '15 at 23:33
  • I agree. I was curious myself as I hadn't even heard of this, but about half an annual tuition based on these numbers...I can see now how tis turns into big business in emerging countries. :) @earthling – gnometorule Mar 17 '15 at 23:55

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