Education Consulting – Study Abroad – New Opportunities

One of the most important jobs of an education consulting firm is an advisor. He/ she ensures create successful match between student and colleges/ universities abroad. These consulting firms are also called certified educational planner.

A. Principal Job profile

Hence an education consulting assists the family/ students in making educational decisions. This may include helping to find an overseas college / university enrollment that is good fit for the student. Better consultants do not guarantee placement as recommendations, and may suggest alternative options.

B. Benefits of Hiring Educational Consultant

People utilize the services of educational consultants in various ways:-

1. Parents know educational consultants have detailed knowledge not only about the college/ universities abroad but also about rules, regulations, documentation, procedures about getting admission, processing visa applications, attempting Embassy Interviews and cultural environment & academic reputation of the college / university situated in a foreign country.

2. To handle large scale or long distance search about Institutions situated in different countries.

3. Previous history of a school / college not being a good fit for the student.

4. When parents feel they can not give sufficient guidance due back of knowledge in any specialized area of study or the country the higher education.

5. Where parents do not speak English as a first language.

C. HOW TO SELECT RIGHT EDUCATION CONSULTANT

There are three (3) broad parameters to choose a good education consulting firm especially for admission to college / university abroad.

1. The consultants must have a master’s degree in career-related field.

2. Consultants must have wide spread contacts in the Industry especially in emerging countries which are offering very attractive terms to students to come to their countries for higher studies.

3. Consultants have demonstrated professional expertise both in understanding of the detailed needs of the students and have provided to the point, accurate & timely advice to help students, their parents take right decisions.

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Using, Choosing, and Using an educational consultant

Introduction

The aim of this document is to provide advice and guidance in choosing a consultant in the field of education. You may be the headteacher or principal of a school or college, an officer in a local education authority (LEA) or school district, or the director of a private company wishing to undertake work in the educational sector. This article focuses mainly on information and communication technology (ICT), but the underlying principles also apply more generally.

Using a consultant

Consultants, at least in the UK, have a poor reputation as a species, and yet they are in greater demand than ever. Why? Why would any organisation elect to use a consultant rather than hiring someone? There are several reasons for this.

Short-term work

Some work is, by its very nature, short-term. If, for example, you are having a new computer suite installed, you might want some advice from an external person who has no axe to grind – and whom you can blame when half the staff complain about the design, the equipment and so on!

Expertise

In a specialist area, such as ICT, it’s quite likely that the school doesn’t have the expertise in-house to do what it needs to do within a particular time scale.

Cost

Although consultants can be expensive, it is (or should be) a relatively short-term expense. And don’t forget that you don’t have all the on-costs, like pension contributions. These can add up to 20% of the salary costs. Also, if the consultant goes on holiday or falls ill, you don’t incur any extra expense.

Choosing a consultant

When choosing a consultant or adviser to assist your school in ICT, whether for Hands-On Support, training, strategic development or any other aspect of ICT, it’s important to get the right person or company for the job.

To help you do so, here is a list of questions you may wish to ask before hiring someone. You are unlikely to find any person or company who can answer “yes” to all of these questions, so you will need to bring your own professional judgement to bear on your decision.

1. Is the consultancy independently accredited by a quality assurance scheme, such as by NaaceMark or similar scheme? If not, is it seeking accreditation? Note that an answer of “No” in either case is not necessarily a bad thing. In my own experience, the work itself is so time-consuming that it’s quite difficult to go through the hoops required to prove that you can do what you’re doing! That’s why the next few questions are important too.

2. Is the consultant a member of a relevant organisation, such as (in the UK) Naace or the Society for Education Consultants? These types of organisation provide a certain degree of quality assurance in the sense that they won’t accept just anybody as members, although they will give no guarantees about the quality of work undertaken by their members. Also, they often provide useful information about the sector in which the consultant works, which in theory at least keeps the consultant up-to-date on current developments in the field.

3. Ask for details of similar work undertaken by the consultancy, and for details of satisfied clients – but bear in mind that a reluctance to supply such details may be due to considerations of confidentiality.

4. Ask for references, testimonials, or details of evaluations, ie evidence of quality assurance of the consultants’ work.

5. You can also ask how the consultant gets most of its work. Word of mouth is a good sign.

6. Ask for the CVs of the consultants who will be working in your organisation if you decide to sign up this consultancy.

7. Is the consultant qualified to undertake the work? This could be an academic qualification, accreditation as an inspector or training provider in one or more schemes, or qualification by experience.

8. Has the consultant been on relevant training in the last year?

9. Ensure that the consultancy agrees not to subcontract the work without prior discussion with you, the client.

10. If you are considering the consultant for staff training, ask if you can attend one of their training sessions in another school.

11. Ask for other evidence that will help you decide if the consultancy is the best for this particular work in your school, such as a client list (but note point about confidentiality above), examples of video work, published work or a website.

Using a consultant

Once you’ve decided on a particular consultant, have an agreement drawn up that ensures, for example, that you will be kept informed of progress. For example, it may not be unreasonable to ask for a summary every 2 weeks, if you are an LEA and the consultant is working in your schools.

Once you’ve hired a consultant, make sure you get the best value for money. This means some or even all of the following, depending on the particular circumstances:

Have a clear set of aims and objectives that you are both agreed upon. This may be developed in discussion with the consultant before signing on the dotted line, but there must be a clear set of expectations by the time the consultant starts work.

Make sure that the consultant has the tools needed to do the job effectively. This could mean access to the computer network, desk space, essential contact information and so on.

Ensure that you have all the contact information you need too: phone and fax numbers, a mobile phone number too, perhaps, with the facility for leaving messages, and an email address.

Put in place whatever is needed to enable the consultant to “hit the ground running”. If, for example, you spend the first morning discussing what the consultant should do, you’re throwing money down the drain: all that should have been agreed beforehand – unless, of course, there is a need for a sudden change in plan, although even in those situations there should have been a contingency plan (a “Plan B”) in place.

Don’t keep asking the consultant to do more and more in an unplanned kind of way. If more work is needed, discuss whether it could feasibly be done well in the agreed time, or whether more days need to be allocated for it.

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Reasons to Approach Overseas Education Consultant

According to the report of 2007 and 2008, India has turned into a country which is sending a huge number of students to study in abroad every year. The reason for rising craze among students to go to abroad for higher studies is because these are among the top destinations in the world over.

There could be hundreds of reasons why a student would want to study in abroad and we have listed some of the most important reasons here:

-To get a global perspective and widen their horizons. They also get a chance to experience diversified cultures of the world.
-To form a global network of social contacts.
-To improve their communication skills.
-To become self-dependent by developing proficient problem- solving skills.
-To learn most updated technology and explore new concepts and ideas.
-To be an all-rounder, primed for better prospects.
-To be a global citizen.

Due to the above reasons, which are quite significant, a student wants to study abroad and where arises the need of consulting to an overseas education consultant. Let us throw some light on why choose a higher education consultant and what benefits do we get by consulting to them;

Career Counseling: Counseling is of course the first right step when deciding to study overseas. It helps students to take right decision for their bright future. Such type of counseling is given only by the higher education consultant.

Helps direct where and when to go: It is little difficult for a student to decide in which country he/she should go, this is where a consultancy comes to help. A consultant can best help the student by suggesting the best university for a particular course that the students want to pursue. A good consultant helps the student by telling the appropriate time for taking admissions in a particular university.

Admission guidance: A consultancy helps the students by telling them about the options of universities which conduct their preferred course. Not only this, consultant also helps them by telling them the fee structure and total estimated expense of staying in a country and guiding them for the admission procedure.

Safety: When students apply for admission in an university overseas through a consultancy, they get all the safety and security right from getting admissions to visa approval. Whereas if a student applies his or her own, the chance of visa rejection is quite probable.

Financial Estimation: Once the students take help from overseas education consultant, they get a complete idea of what are the documents they require, the total amount to be spent in education and living and how much amount to be shown to the embassy.

Visa assistance: Getting a visa is something wherein a student face much difficulty. A consultant helps the students to collect right documents, while being very careful with documentation. This documentation part can only be done perfectly when get assistance of someone who is experienced and have all the knowledge regarding it. If the student is doing documentation in assistance with consultant, he/she will have 99 percent chance to get the visa.

Accommodation guidance: An overseas education consultant helps in providing accommodation to the students as they have tie ups with the universities. In some cases consultants also provide you the contact details of seniors which they have sent for the last intake.

Job awareness in abroad: A good consultant helps the students not only in getting themselves prepared in performing formalities better during pre-completion of the course but also help them to know what kind of jobs they can do their and earn an attractive amount of money, simultaneously with their studies and after the completion of study.

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