International education in Australia is the third largest export industry, contributing AUD$35 billion to the economy in 2018. One of the largest growing source countries for Australian education is Nepal, with 6% of the market. To reach students in the Nepalese market, Australian universities utilise education agents, whose role is to provide information about universities and courses and to assist with the university application process. For many Nepalese students, the agent may provide the only contact point between the university and the student. Therefore, education agents represent Australian universities and contribute to their reputation, as they provide the first impression of Australian education to students. However, some unethical practices have been identified with education agent services. These include providing misleading information and fabrication of documents. Such practices can affect the reputation of Australian universities and prevent the country from becoming a global leader in education, one of the goals of the National Strategy for International Education 2025. Therefore, to gain a better understanding of unethical practices and their impact on Australia’s reputation as a higher education destination, this study will investigate Nepalese students’ perceptions of education agent services. The study will use a qualitative approach incorporating one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions with Nepalese students at Australian universities. The findings will provide insights for universities and policy makers with regards to the ethical conduct of education agents. Such findings can help to better manage the relationship between Australian universities, education agents and students and support future growth strategies.
|Effective start/end date||1/07/19 → …|