Statement of Principles for the Ethical Recruitment of International Students by
Education Agents and Consultants
(To be known as the London statement)

19 March 2012

1. Introduction

1.1 Context
Increasing numbers of students now move across national borders seeking education and training
opportunities in order to gain internationally recognised qualifications. The OECD publication Education
at a Glance 2010 sources OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics, which estimated that more than
three million tertiary students were educated outside their home country in 2008. Some commentators
project that global demand for international education could be expected to rise to almost eight million
by 2025.

The growth in the number of international students has been accompanied by an increase in the
number of education agents and consultants who provide services to them. Education agents and
consultants are integral and important stakeholders in international education.

1.2 Background to the Initiative
The Roundtable on the Integrity of International Education is a forum at which the UK, Australia,
Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the US meet to share knowledge and experience and identify
common areas of practice and concern, as well as scope for collaboration. At the initial meeting of the
Roundtable in 2010 Australia proposed developing a joint international code of ethics for international
education agents which would facilitate a common approach and raise ethical standards.
The development of a ‘Statement of Principles for the Ethical Recruitment of International Students by
Education Agents and Consultants’ is the initiative that flowed from that proposal. The UK, Australia,
Ireland and New Zealand agreed to the statement of principles on 16 March
Each of these countries is now working towards implementing the principles. This includes training and
communications for Agents.

1.3 Purpose
This high-level Statement of Principles promotes best practice among the education agents and
consultant professions that support international students. The Statement of Principles is a unifying set
of understandings for the recruitment of, and related services provided to, students in international
education which serve to promote best practice among education agents and consultants. The
Statement will be reflected in each country’s approach to international education.
A report on activity will be presented to the Roundtable meeting in 2013.
A number of factors which could be addressed under each principle when developing initiatives and
actions are provided in an Attachment to this Statement of Principles.

2. Ethical Framework
The Statement of Principles is based on an underlying ethical framework of:
 Integrity - being straightforward and honest in all professional and business dealings;
 Objectivity - not allowing professional judgment to be compromised by bias or conflict of
 Professional competence and due care - maintaining professional knowledge and
professional service, and acting diligently;
 Transparency - declaring conflicts of interest to all clients, especially when service fees are
charged to both the education provider and the prospective student;
 Confidentiality - respecting and preserving the confidentiality of personal information
acquired and not releasing such information to third parties without proper authority;
 Professional behaviour – acting in accordance with relevant laws and regulations and
dealing with clients competently, diligently and fairly; and
 Professionalism and purpose - acting in a manner that will serve the interests of clients
and the wider society even at the expense of self-interest; recognising that dedication to
these principles is the means by which the profession can earn the trust and confidence of
stakeholder groups (individual clients, the public, business and government).

3. Principles
 Principle 1 - Agents and consultants practice responsible business ethics.
 Principle 2 - Agents and consultants provide current, accurate and honest information in an
ethical manner.
 Principle 3 - Agents and consultants develop transparent business relationships with students and
providers through the use of written agreements.
 Principle 4 - Agents and consultants protect the interests of minors.
 Principle 5 - Agents and consultants provide current and up-to-date information that enables
international students to make informed choices when selecting which agent or consultant to
 Principle 6 - Agents and consultants act professionally.
 Principle 7 - Agents and consultants work with destination countries and providers to raise ethical
standards and best practice.


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