Marketing of university program is an important function to drive recruitment, with ‘word of mouth’ and recommendation still being the most important. However, to recruit students from new areas, the university may recruit external marketing agents. All such agents will be required to enter into an agreement which limits their marketing activities.
The university appoints a full-time member of staff to oversee marketing activities. The responsibilities of this role include:
- Devise marketing strategies to promote the programs on offer at the university.
- Attend conferences and exhibitions to promote the programs on offer at the university.
- Organize advertising campaigns.
- Contact directly existing feeder universities, whether in Finland or overseas, to promote the programs on offer at the university.
- Ensure that all marketing materials comply with awarding body and accreditation agency guidelines.
- Monitoring feedback from students about marketing efforts, including feedback about agents.
- Analyzing feedback from students and academic staff to determine positive and negative patterns arising.
- Advising SMT on publicity and website related issues that may need addressing.
The role of the recruiting agent is solely a marketing role and nothing else. The only authorized work for the university in this regard is to promote the current programs using up-to-date literature produced by the university. The marketing agent is restricted to only stating the facts of the course, as it appears on the literature and not answering queries. For overseas online students, at an agreed date and location, the agent may encourage prospective students to gather to meet the university staff to complete the application, enrolment and induction process. Prospective students will already have sent copies of their documents for matriculation and university checking. Original documents may be checked on such an enrolment day. After this, the agent has no further role to play.
The conduct of agents will be monitored through asking students about their experiences to determine what they have been told prior to contacting the university directly. All such feedback will be recorded on standard forms to be reviewed every trimester by the senior management and admissions teams. Admissions staff will be trained to raise any arising concerns with SMT immediately. Occasionally, the university may recruit anonymous individuals to visit the agents to monitor their activities. Any complaints or concerns about agent conduct will result in an enquiry with appropriate action being taken. Agents are required to complete a form every trimester stating what their recent marketing activities entailed.
Most agents will have been selected by senior university staff based upon their existing reputation and established operation. It is conceivable, however, that prospective agents may contact the university to request working with us. In this case they will need to complete an Application Form to register their interest, which will then be passed to the marketing officer to consider. Thorough background checks, including getting references from previous educational establishments, will need to be undertaken before senior managers finally invite the applicant to complete the agent agreement.
- All who are involved with marketing the courses will be explicitly authorized to do so and have clear written agreements.
- Agents will be paid a commission on successfully enrolled students. Agents will be penalized if students’ complaints about their behavior are upheld, possibly having the agreement revoked.
- Agents are not to handle the student’s fees at all and are forbidden from charging students extra fees.
- New Agents will be interviewed and have their backgrounds checked. FUF will only work wit established reputable agents.
- Existing and former students may become an agent, with a signed agreement. Only students whom we have experience with and so have confidence in their integrity will be considered for this.
- Agents are bound by the agreement and also a code of conduct, which will be publicized to students and applicants as well. (See attached)
- Only employed staff will have regular access to the university premises.
- All students, visitors and staff must display identification when on the university premises.
- All new applicants’ original documents must be seen by a member of staff. Either by posting originals, or by visiting the country to take copies when a number of students’ papers can be gathered.
- All new applicants will have a face-to-face or live online interview with FUF staff where they must present their identification and original documents.
- All new applicants will be explicitly asked about what information they have already been told about the course in question. They will also be shown exact details of the course.
- Agents will not have any academic role to play. They will not be involved in sourcing, or monitoringdissertation supervisors, as this will be done exclusively by the university staff.
This Policy is subject to annual review
Last reviewed: November 2020
Next review: November 2021