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Agents for international student recruitment

Disclosure date: 30 May 2012

Reference: FOI2012/032

Request

I would like to make a freedom of information request for the following information:

1. How many international (non-EU) students were recruited through agents for entry in 2011?

2. How much was spent by your institution on recruitment agents in your financial year 2010-11?

3. How many of these international students who entered in 2011 were recruited in a process where the agent was paid by commission? That is, the agent’s pay was linked to the number of students they recruited (including if their salary was dependent on recruiting above a particular number)

4. How much was spent by your institution on these commission payments in the financial year 2010-11?

5. How many of these students who entered in 2011 were recruited in a process where the agent charged fees to the student?

6. Do your agents declare to prospective students that they would be paid a) commission by the university and/or b) fees?

7. When prospective students meet with your agents, are they always accompanied by a guardian and/or a legal counsel?

Response

1. 241

2. The only payment to agents is a commission of 10% on students recruited. Please see the response to question 4 below.

3. 241 students: commission for recruiting students is always 10% of tuition fees (or first year's fees, where applicable). SOAS does not pay agents a salary, nor do we link commission to the number of students recruited.

4. £331,455.19 was paid in total to Overseas Agents during 2010-11.

5. None. Some agents do charge a fee to assist in obtaining a visa. This is not a concern of the institution.

6. There is no formal requirement from SOAS for them to do this.    

7. There is no formal requirement from SOAS for them to do this as the vast majority of students coming to us via agents are postgraduate.