Business boom for agents as abroad studies' demand rises

The level of inquiries is high.

In Summary

•There is a steady 40 per cent average daily increase in inquiry volumes.

•Business has been low during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Students being taken through programs/FILE
Students being taken through programs/FILE

Locally based student recruitment agencies have been told to brace for an influx of new businesses in the coming weeks.

A projection by EduCare International – a Kenyan-based student recruitment company is forecasting that the international student market will nearly double this year, and will offer opportunities to Kenyan learners seeking to study abroad and recruiters alike.

“We are seeing a huge improvement from the scenario witnessed last year when Covid-19 prevented a lot of students from enrolling for overseas courses," the firm notes.

"The level of inquiries has been impressive and we are seeing hundreds of students and parents flocking to all our offices,” said Omar Mohamed, the Chief executive of EduCare International in an interview.

Further, the agency highlights a steady 40 per cent average daily increase in inquiry volumes across its regional offices in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret outlets since the 2021 KCSE results were announced.

This according to Mohamed, is a contrast to last year and 2020 when learners were forced to remain at home following restrictions measures by the government to curb the spread of Coronavirus which broke in March 2020.

Prior to this, Covid-19 had been a major disruption to most education providers and, in particular, to those actively engaged in international student recruitment.

Understandably, Mohamed says that most education providers have been predominantly focused on the direct impact of Covid-19 on their own operational practices and bottom-lines. However, this should not come at the cost of support provided to education agents.

“The emphasis will eventually be placed on trusted and knowledgeable local agents with a strong track record, noting that study overseas enrolment have heightened as a result of return to normalcy with the global community moving away from the Covid-19 nightmares.

When Covid-19 hit it became difficult for students to transit abroad so that became a big problem for most parents. We are now seeing a shift and our prediction is the enrolments will continue in the coming weeks, months perhaps years,” said Mr. Mohamed.

This comes barely a week after the KCSE 2021 results were released with most learners expected to scramble for limited available local University slots.

Kenyan learners tend to move abroad for higher education owing to challenges often faced in such institutions as well as the high cost of tuition fees that have ballooned in the last five years – pushing parents to their financial limits.

Some of the most popular study abroad programmes by Kenyan learners include engineering, computer science, law, medicine and social sciences among others with new courses in art, music and film also enticing Kenyan learners.

EduCare International had in March signed a financing deal with Shariah compliant lender, Gulf African Bank (GAB) in a move that will see students seeking overseas education are not constrained during their schooling abroad.

Through the equity release financing product, parents and guardians who own property will be able to unlock the value of their homes and successfully turn the bricks and mortar into cash to fund their dependent’s school fees in leading universities abroad.