NCUK attends the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students


On 21 March 2023, Brad Johnson, Head of Progression at NCUK, attended the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students event at the House of Lords to listen to a discussion on an important topic: the role agents and recruitment organisations play in the recruitment process and student journey of international students


The economic benefit of UK universities having a large proportion of international students is clear – a 2018 cohort generated £28.8 billion for the UK economy, with each citizen being better off by an average of £390 per person due to their presence (Research by London Economics & HEPI).

In addition, universities also benefit from additional income, which helps fund research and maintain quality in teaching standards. Moreover, international students provide home students with invaluable opportunities to expand their horizons and develop valuable personal and business relationships.

However, it must be recognised that student recruitment organisations such as agents or in-centre/school counsellors have always played a crucial role during this journey of international student recruitment even before they reach university age – research carried out by UCAS shows impressions can be formed as early as 11 years old and therefore students are starting to think about where they want to study long before previously thought! These trained counsellors help cut through the noise and select options tailored to the student’s needs while also helping them understand the nuances of different destinations and universities, a formal journey that usually starts around 18 months before the students start their programme.

Counsellors offer advice and guidance that universities might not otherwise be able to reach, resulting in a more extensive reach for universities and more personalised services; technology is also being used to enhance this journey.


The British Council has welcomed a new framework developed by BUILA in consultation with the sector, which will provide further training to ensure agents and counselling organisations are equipped with accurate information for their students.

NCUK Student Counsellors are placed at every NCUK Study Centre and are trained to be instrumental in supporting students through every step of their study abroad journey. They provide invaluable advice about university options and they offer tailored support at the different stages of the academic journey, from choosing university and course to applying and accepting their offers.

It’s such a fantastic feeling to be in a room full of people truly behind international students and discuss all the amazing positives they bring to our country, both economically and culturally

Brad Johnson, NCUK Head of Progression

There were some excellent discussions at the APPG looking at the student journey and how counsellors and such organisations support students, ensuring they have the best start when embarking on their student journey.

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