Sunday, 26 June 2022

    Private colleges pay huge bonuses

    Private colleges across Australia are paying local education agents hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit international students who were already in the country, including many who were enrolled in public universities, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    Some agents who recruit students who are already in Australia are demanding colleges pay commissions of up to 50 per cent in some cases according to private college representatives. Additional cash bonuses as high as $300,000 are also being offered for the recruitment of 100 students.

    International students are required to complete six months of study onshore after enrolment before they can transfer. Some students are encouraged to leave university courses that cost up to $30,000 or more in fees to enrol in vocational certificate and diploma courses with fees as low as $6000 a year. A proportion of those fees is returned to the agent as a commission, typically up to 30 per cent.

    The head of one college who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald on the condition of anonymity said he was concerned this was driving down course quality and better regulation was needed to stop agents demanding high commissions.

    Belle Lim, national president of the Council of International Students Australia, said many students who relied on income from part-time jobs were struggling to pay their university fees during the pandemic, making lower-course fees tempting.

    “If their dream is cut short, they will have to find a lower-cost course to stay in Australia and continue their study journey,” she said.

    Nicole Brigg, pro vice-chancellor (international) at Macquarie University estimated about 200 students from countries including India, Nepal and Nigeria had transferred in a year from the university to lower cost courses.


    Private colleges pay student recruiters up to $300,000 in bonuses (Sydney Morning Herald)


    Council of International Students