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Code of ethics for international education recruiters announced

In April, the national agencies responsible for international higher education in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland announced a Statement of principles for the ethical recruitment of international students by education agents and consultants (also known as the London Statement).

Aiming to improve the integrity and service provided to international students by international education recruitment agents, the statement lays down seven main principles focusing on  the practice of responsible business ethics; provision of up-to-date, accurate, and ethical information; use of transparent written agreements between recruiters and students; protection of the interests of minors; provision of ethical information about the services rendered; professionalism; and cooperation with destination countries to improve best practice and raise ethical standards.

The next proposed step is to convince the recruiters’ representative bodies in large international student markets to sign up to the principles. This would constitute key progress as the vast majority of international students are recruited outside of the jurisdiction of the four signatories. In the same line of argument, the statement has already been questioned as ‘toothless’ as it is up to each individual government to decide on the means of implementation and enforcement.

Besides, it is worth noting that although the four signatories are some of the most popular international student destinations, two big players in the international education market – the United States and Canada – are missing. Both countries took part in the negotiations but did not sign up to the final document.
Australian Education International

British Council