Almost 40 agencies have agreements in place with more than 10 universities, with six each working with over 30 universities.
IDP Education and Global Reach partner with all 40 universities that reported their agent partners online. (The University of Divinity was not included in The PIE’s analysis as a recruitment partner list is not available on its website.)
The research was possible as authorities in Australia require institutions to publish lists of the agencies they are working with.
Here are the top agents in India that are trusted to recruit on behalf of the most universities in Australia:
1-2. IDP & Global Reach: 40 university partners
3. AECC: 34
4. SIEC: 32
5-6. KAAISER Services & Trans Globe: 30
7-8. Edwise & VIEC: 27
9-11. KC Overseas, Global Study Partners & IAE: 24
12-14. The Chopras, Planet Education & PAC Asia: 23
15. Envision Overseas: 20
Other agencies that have agreements with more than 10 Australian universities include the likes of Storm (SIG), Kangaroo, Dilinger, Shiksha/ Info Edge, Gradstar, Krishna, Bluesky Immigration & Students Consultancy, Azent Overseas and GeeBee.
Some 46 agencies have agreements with two institutions.
Like in the analysis of onshore agents in Australia, the research identified the unique strategy of Southern Cross University which has designated EduCo International Group as its master agent. The university has then published a list of trusted agents that EduCo is collaborating with.
The list includes many agents that are not included in other university lists. These include agents such as Admission Overseas Limited, BCES Admissions Abroad Pvt. Ltd and Vishwas International, to name a few.
It is likely that universities are working with other agents that are not listed on their websites, however.
Institutions such as Edith Cowan University, University of Tasmania, Murdoch University and Charles Sturt University are working with aggregator platforms such as Adventus (16 university partners), ApplyBoard (nine partners), Leverage Edu (six) and Cialfo (three).
Many agencies listed as trusted partners will also have extensive sub-agent networks across India.
In 2023 when Australian universities halted applications from certain states in India – Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat – The PIE understands that applicants could easily be shipped to other offices in other parts of the country, meaning that the ban could be bypassed simply.
Many agencies listed as trusted partners will also have extensive sub-agent networks
Agencies have come under fire in recent years, especially since Covid-19, with politicians such as Australia’s education minister repeating that “shonks” have returned to the market since the pandemic. A shonk is an Australian term for an individual engaged in suspicious business activities.
Many in the international education sector have called out that the spotlight on agents has been damaging for the sector, while others contend that recruitment partners must be held accountable for questionable or unethical practises.
This article identifies the agencies in India that are trusted by the highest number of universities in Australia. These are the agents that universities recommend prospective international studnets from India to approach for help with applying to university.
This is part of a series of articles on Australian higher education’s agency partners.