International migration of international students is now at an unprecedented level. No longer is this the domain of countries such as UK, Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand but students are now looking at study options in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Cyprus and most of the EU countries.
This is giving the student a wider choice in relation to a range of subjects, entrance criteria, cost, types of institution and cultural experience.
The market is growing, but so to is the number of educational institutions seeking to recruit these students.
Unfortunately, the unethical behaviour of some international colleges is causing major problems for students, parents and sponsors.
It is very difficult for students to get a realistic and honest picture of what an institution is really like in terms of quality, resources, student support and ethics.
ASIC has been formed to bring this independent information to the student population through its accreditation service with well defined and objective benchmarking.
Accreditation through ASIC will help the student and parent make a more informed choice and will also help a college/university demonstrate to the marketplace that they are a high quality institution.
Following widespread and increasing concern over the behaviour of some international independent and private colleges, the UK Government identified the need for a more rigorous system for accrediting education institutions involved in recruiting overseas students. Accordingly, a proposal for the mandatory accreditation of education providers, wishing to bring overseas students into the UK, was included in the Government's Command Paper "A Points Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain".
In response to this proposal QISAN together with a number of professional practitioners with considerable experience in recruiting international students for universities, further education colleges and schools/EFL colleges and in establishing collaborative arrangements with overseas institutions and UK partners, have established an embryo accrediting body, namely ASIC.
Given our experience, we are well aware of:
- The existence of colleges, which appeared to focus largely on bringing young people into the UK as potential students, but whose main aim was to become an illegal economic immigrant,
- Colleges which, although genuine educational institutions, provided their students with a poor experience, sometimes placing them on inappropriate programmes,
- Quite reputable colleges, and indeed some universities, which were not well prepared to cater for all of the needs of international students.
ASIC, therefore fully recognises the pressing need for a robust and transparent approach to ensuring that colleges, to the best of their ability, only recruit genuine and appropriately qualified students and that they provide the best possible student experience in terms of the students achieving their maximum academic potential whilst having their social and pastoral needs fully addressed.
Ongoing development with the accredited colleges will incorporate such topics as training and monitoring the work of agents, high-quality and ethical recruitment methods, development of admission systems and assistance in the development of codes of practice and ethics policies.
ASIC has identified the following Areas of Operation, which will each be assessed and given a grade of Commendable, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. These grades will not only be taken into account in deciding whether or not to award accreditation to a college, but will also be helpful in enabling students to make informed choices on where they might study.
Areas of Operation:
- A. Premises and Health and Safety
- B. Management and Staff Resources
- C. Learning and Teaching; Course Delivery
- D. Quality Assurance and Enhancement
- E. Student Welfare
- F. Qualifications and Awards
- G. Marketing and Student Recruitment
- H. Relationship with Government Offices and Reporting Mechanisms.
Detailed descriptions of these areas can be found on Page 12, Section 4.2, of the Accreditation Handbook.
Accredited Colleges are entitled to use the ASIC logo and any promotional materials produced by ASIC as long as they retain their accreditation.