Guidelines for Overseas Education Students Recruitment Agencies
Under Regulation 47 (1) (c), (e) and (f)of the Universities (General) Regulation, G.N 226 of 2013, no person or institution, whether local or foreign shall without the express approval of the Commission advertise to offer any
University level award, organize exhibitions on University education or recruit students in the United Republic to join foreign university institution.
The aim is to guarantee that overseas student recruitment is duly regulated for the benefit of Tanzanians intending to pursue university education abroad.
In the current global market, the use of overseas students’ recruitment agents (OESRA) to help enroll students has been a controversial issue. Some countries are seeking to regulate them and others to legislate against their existence especially where fraudulent practices and enrollment of students to unaccredited institutions is witnessed.
The use of these agents by students and the parents has recently been popular and preferred. In certain countries the use of agents is high: in China 45% of students use agents, in India 43% and in Nigeria 30%. Students and parents use agents to arrange study abroad either because they lack knowledge and
understanding of overseas education systems or (even where they have obtained their own placement) because they lack the time or confidence to complete the necessary formalities, especially visa application procedures,
without help, and are happy to pay for assistance from an agent.
Already in countries such as China, United Kingdom, India, and Australia have had embarked on the initiative to develop regulations to monitor students’ overseas recruitment agencies. Some key findings from these
countries indicate that some unqualified agencies providing services to students wishing to study abroad help clients to forge materials required for applications for admission, cheat clients by securing them places in
unscrupulous and bogus institutions at the expense of money.
For example, a review carried out in Australia in March, 2011 on the Student Visa Programme revealed that unscrupulous education agents were receiving high commissions to assist students with fraudulent documents to get admitted into any course irrespective of the quality of the course or the qualifications of the student.
In Africa, the issue of agent reputation has had an impact in the continent. In particular, much controversy has been on the high number of fraudulent applications from education agents acting on behalf of students from African countries, who have been seen as trying to gain access to loans and benefits or gain residency through the back door. This makes institutions and students to become wary of having applications denied as a result of being suspected as fraudulent.
In Tanzania, the liberalization of education and training has also opened up new opportunities including the establishment of students’ overseas education recruitment agencies. So far twenty six (26) agencies operating in
Tanzania have been identified. However, this sector has been unregulated as there was no documented information on their registration and accreditation status as well as the guidelines and criteria for the services rendered by such agencies. In addition to ensure quality of graduate recruited by these agencies,
TCU has to be satisfied that the students are admitted in institutions of high education standards.
In view of the aforesaid, TCU with involvement of its key stakeholders has issued these guidelines in order to guide and regulate the overseas students recruitment agents. These guidelines are subject to review and continuous improvement according to the changing needs of the society.