Of Smoke, Mirrors, & Educational Consultants

At the risk of being repetitive, I am once again reblogging Dr. Mark Ashwill’s recent post on his blog “An International Educator in Vietnam.”

In his post, he discusses the shady practices of fair organizers in various markets. He specifically mentions the practice of busing in large numbers of students to make a fair look successful.

This struck a cord for me because, as an experienced recruiter, I really hate this practice!

While some schools will take the time to select students who have an interest and who are on track for pursuing their studies in the USA, unfortunately, they are very few. The vast majority of times that we see these students en masse in a fair, it is because they just wanted to get out of class for a few hours for this “field trip.” It is such a waste of time and resources–and it’s a waste of my voice, as well, as I become hoarse from talking so much with people that are not really interested in my program.

Fair organizers, take note and PLEASE stop this practice!

An International Educator in Viet Nam

I continue to document and add to my rather lengthy inventory the many ways in which educational consulting companies cheat their clients and partners.  This began with an article I wrote in 12/14 for University World News entitled Walking the walk – Ethical agency-based recruitment.

cheatingHere’s one that involves an upcoming US higher education mini-fair.  It’s what I’m fond of calling the “dog and pony show” approach to pre-event marketing.  Why do it the old-fashioned way – through extensive on- and offline marketing – when you can simply pay “students” to come to your event?  It’s easy, cheap and guarantees quantity, if not quality.  You want 500 students?  No problem!  Pay 50,000 VND per student referral.  Psst – hey, everyone!  We’ll pay you $2.23 in cold hard cash for every student (?) you bring to the fair.  That’s $1,115 – what a bargain!

If you really wanna rock ‘n…

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