Australia welcomes new ethics codes for education agents

New Delhi: Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to India, Lachlan Strahan, Friday applauded the new ‘International Code of Ethics’ for education agents.

The code aims to ensure that all international students, including Indian students, receive professional and ethical service when they use agents to help them apply to Australian institutions.

Education officials from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand have issued a joint statement of principles for ethical international student recruitment, following talks in London in March 2012 hosted by the British Council. The countries first met for talks in 2010, when Australia proposed developing a joint international code of ethics.

The use of recruitment agents is almost universal in the education systems in some countries. A small number of agents and consultants have been accused of unethical or even illegal conduct, causing problems both for students and institutions and damaging the reputation of their profession.

The London Statement sets out seven principles that agents will be urged to adhere to.

“The London Statement of Principles promotes and encourages good practices that we expect to see from the education agent community. We will work with agents to implement these principles,” Strahan said.

Colin Walters, chief executive officer, Australian Education International, added: “It is important that the reputation and integrity of international education continues to be held in high regard. We must ensure that international students receive advice which will enable them to have high quality educational experiences.”