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Protection of student interest at the heart of NACAC debate

ICEF Monitor recently sat down with Thomas Hassett, the Director of International Admissions at Pennsylvania’s Gannon University and a member of the NACAC Commission on International Student Recruitment. In the following interview, Mr. Hassett provides some excellent background on the Commission’s work to date and looks ahead to the group’s forthcoming recommendations on international recruitment practice. Those recommendations are expected to be filed for review in early 2013 and then formally reported at the annual NACAC conference later in the year.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is a US-based member organisation of more than 12,000 secondary and postsecondary education professionals who “work with students transitioning to and between colleges.” The NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice includes a provision that bans the payment of commissions to student recruiters.

In the past, NACAC has interpreted this statement as applying to both domestic and international recruitment and this in turn gives rise to the question as to whether NACAC members could be in breach of the Statement of Principles if they engaged international education agents and if those agents were compensated on a commission basis.

The NACAC Board has solicited additional public comment on its interpretation and has also launched a special 26-member Commission on International Student Recruitment to further explore the issue and advise the association on international recruitment practices.

The Commission met for the first time in March 2011 and will meet again at the October 2012 NACAC National Conference in Denver. The NACAC discussion occurs against a backdrop of recent moves to strengthen standards of practice and students rights across the industry, including a new International Student Mobility Charter adopted at the September 2012 EAIE conference in Dublin and the much-discussed London Statement on ethical recruitment issued earlier this year by the UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Please see our earlier post on the NACAC process for additional background as well as an overview of different perspectives on working with international education agents.

Special thanks to Florian Schäfer from who interviewed Mr. Hassett on behalf of ICEF Monitor.

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