Our Customer Relations Manager, Florence Waniwa and Chairman, Maurice Dimmock attended the WEBA Education Agents Workshop in London at the start of September.
On the 5th and 6th of September our Chairman, Maurice Dimmock, and I attended the WEBA Agent Workshop London held at the Thistle Hotel. We have been working with WEBA for several years through ASIC (and its sister company QISAN) and we appreciate their ethical approach towards international student recruitment as well as the benefits the WEBA workshops have for our institutions.
The journey started with a train ride down to London from ASIC HQ in the North-East of England and then we hit the hustle and bustle of the London underground. We convinced each other to take a trip on the Heathrow POD, which I admit we were rather nervous about, being sceptical about anything that is driverless; thankfully the journey was without incident and was an amazing experience.
If you have never experienced the POD, I suggest that you give it a go the next time you are there. (Hopefully, this goes some way to explaining our child-in-a-sweet-shop excitement in the video below!)
For the London event WEBA had kindly offered our Accredited Institutions (a limited number of places) free attendance and unsurprisingly we reached full capacity before the week was out.
Once there I was pleased to see the number of ASIC institutions who had been able to take advantage of the free networking opportunity: Cambridge Melchior College, Academy for International Science and Research, Sheffield Language Centre, Warnborough College (UK), Italian Universita Niccolo Cusano London (NCUNI London), Home Language International and Brentwood University.
At ASIC we are proud of our efforts to ensure that we provide a great deal of added value for our institutions throughout their accreditation period. Our relationships with partners like WEBA allow us to provide a range of free and discounted benefits which we communicate to our institutions about through our newsletter, and our Institution Support Service which is run by yours truly!
As ASIC’s Customer Relations Manager, I usually communicate with representatives of our accredited colleges via Institution Support over the phone or via email so I am always excited to finally meet people face to face and be able to put the face to the voice.
The first evening was a casual meet-and-greet reception with many meeting for the first time and introducing themselves in preparation for the following day, and some more familiar faces catching up on what had been happening since their last encounter. The relaxed atmosphere created a perfect opportunity for introductions and proved particularly invaluable for some of our newly accredited institutions.
The main event, the following day, was a busy and productive day with School Presentations, one-on-one meetings with agencies and recruitment agents and additional networking opportunities.
We take student welfare very seriously here at ASIC and, as part of our Standards of Accreditation/Areas of Operation, Section G specifically looks at Marketing and Recruitment. This section covers policies that institutions need to have in place to ensure ethical ways of student recruitment both from themselves and from agents that they work with and our sister company QISAN also deals with the vetting and monitoring of agents.
Our attendance at such event helps to keep ASIC and our institutions attending, up to date on current developments and assures that these are then passed on/implemented within processes and procedures to ensure that future students are receiving an even better experience at their chosen study destination.
Equally, our work with organisations such as WEBA plays an important part in our mission for putting quality at the heart of institution’s internationalisation efforts and, as explained in this article from ICEF http://monitor.icef.com/2015/04/education-agents-continue-to-play-a-larger-role-in-uk-recruitment/ the role of working with ethical agents cannot be understated.
On both a professional and personal note it was fantastic to attend WEBA London and I look forward to seeing more of our institutions at the next event!