• Home
  • News
  • Second book on international education by EIT | Te Pūkenga researcher released

Second book on international education by EIT | Te Pūkenga researcher released

July 19, 2023

EIT | Te Pūkenga Principal Academic Dr Pii-Tuulia Nikula has edited her second book this year – Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education.

A book, on the role agents play in the recruitment of international students at tertiary level, has been published recently. The book is co-edited by EIT | Te Pūkenga Principal Academic Dr Pii-Tuulia Nikula.

Pii-Tuulia is a researcher at EIT | Te Pūkenga and is regarded as an expert on the subject. To edit the book Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education she teamed up with Vincenzo Raimo, an independent higher education consultant and Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading, where he previously served as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement); and Eddie West, Assistant Dean of International Strategy and Programs at San Diego State University, where he provides leadership of international partnership development, collaborations, and overseas programmes.

The book is the second that Pii-Tuulia has published this year, the first one being Sustainable Education Abroad: Striving for Change, which was co-edited by Pii-Tuulia and Dr Karen McBride, the President and Founder of Bound International.

With a focus on the growing number of institutions employing commercial education agents to support international student recruitment, this latest book gives a much needed evidence-based exploration of this phenomenon.

The book’s publisher, Routledge describes it as exploring who and what education agents are, what students and higher education institutions can expect from a good agent, how bad agents can be identified and avoided, and what can be learnt from the reasons for the development of these agents in the first place.

“Offering theoretical perspectives with practical applications, this volume features contributions from academics and scholar-practitioners, laying out fresh perspectives and insights on topics such as process transparency, developing agent policy and procedures, and government regulations.”

Pii-Tuulia says it is good to have this long-term project finally on the shelves.

“I have been contemplating writing a book on agents for nearly a decade, primarily because there has been a notable absence of dedicated books on this specific topic. While there are certainly individual research papers and industry reports available, a comprehensive book that discusses the subject has been lacking.”

“I was able to connect to two industry leaders who have extensive experience in this topic, Vincenzo Raimo in the UK, and Eddie West in the US, to lead this book project. Both have experience managing education agents for universities, Vincenzo Raimo in the UK and Eddie West in the US.”

The book proposal was accepted by Routledge and they set about finding contributors from industry professionals and academics.

“We were incredibly fortunate to receive a diverse range of high-quality chapter contributions. We wanted to have different perspectives on the issue and contributions from across the globe, not only traditional receiving countries like Australia and New Zealand, but also countries where many international students come from, such as China and India.”

“We also wanted to make sure there were multiple stakeholder perspectives, so we wanted to have chapters that discuss student perspectives, how do students feel and experience working with agents? We wanted to have agents’ perspectives as well, so how do agents see their role and work, and perspectives of higher education institutions? The book also has a chapter featuring the agent engagement work of Education New Zealand and a chapter written by a Chinese education agent association BOSSA.”

Pii-Tuulia says the book offers critical exploration of the value provided by agents as well as some of the problems that exist in this industry.

“Agents provide value by assisting prospective students as well as by helping education providers to recruit students across the globe. However, the book also discusses some of the key issues that exist, because, as with any industry, you have the good and bad. So, the chapters highlight some of the issues of misconduct and poor practices that do exist. Finally, the book highlights some of the current and emerging trends, such as the rise of mega aggregators and climate change, and discusses solutions which could help improve practices in this industry.”

The collective expertise and insights provided in this book shed new light on the many complexities and contradictions of this industry, making it a valuable resource for academics, practitioners, policymakers and students.

The book is part of the Internationalization in Higher Education Series.