University of Leicester welcomes extra guidelines to ensure best international student experience

Ensuring international students enjoy the best experience possible when they arrive to study in the UK has led to the University of Leicester being one of the first to formally sign up to the new UK Agent Quality Framework.

The University has been joined by Loughborough University and De Montfort University who, together with Leicester, make up the Leicestershire Universities Partnership.

The UK Agent Quality Framework (AQF) sets a standard for how UK universities liaise with agents who are hired to help with the recruitment of international students, ensuring integrity is upheld and the student experience is front and centre of the process.

The framework includes compiling a database of UK-trained and certified agents, an international student guide to choosing an agent and a good practice guide for universities when using international agents.

Jointly led by the British Council, British Universities International Liaison Association, Universities UK International and the UK Council for International Student Affairs, the framework has been created following extensive research with students, educators, advisers and agents.

Kerry Law, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Professional Services) at the University of Leicester, said: “We are proud to demonstrate our drive to deliver excellence in international education and student experience as an adopter of the Agent Quality Framework.

“The long-standing framework brings together best practice in the sector amassed over almost a decade and is a benchmark for the delivery of pre-arrival support for international students.

“Our alignment with this recognised standard, along with fellow universities in the region, demonstrates our core values and commitment to ensuring that every student feels valued and supported from the moment they consider joining our community, throughout their studies and beyond graduation.”

Simon Bradbury, Pro Vice-Chancellor International at DMU, said: “I’m really proud that De Montfort University is one of the inaugural signatories of the Agent Quality Framework.

“It is right that the sector formalises the good practice that is ongoing around the use of agents, so that international students can be assured that they will receive fantastic pre-arrival support.

“The importance of international students to our campus life, and our institutional finances is tough to under-estimate, and it is great that Leicestershire’s universities are demonstrating our collective commitment to internationalisation once again.”

Lily Rumsey, Director of Global Engagement at Loughborough University said: “We are delighted that all three Leicestershire universities, through the ‘Universities Partnership’, have committed to the Agent Quality Framework pledge.

“By applying this framework, we are sending a clear statement that Leicestershire Universities will continue to implement the highest sector wide practices for engaging with our international agent network to ensure that excellent standards for our students and partners are met.  

“This framework is a positive development for the sector and is being fully endorsed here at Loughborough University.”