A symposium for education agents in NSW

SYMPLED2017 was the first symposium for education agents in Australia, designed to be the start of a new form of dialogue between industry, government, education providers and education agents.

Project dates

October 2017-June 2018

Project overview

The Symposium on Leading Education Recruitment SYMPLED2017 was held in Sydney in September 2017. The symposium was developed in conjunction with education agents, Study NSW, English Australia, Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) and industry sponsors. SYMPLED2017 was designed to be the start of a new form of dialogue between education agents, government and education providers.

Project highlights

This was the first symposium for education agents in Australia that focused on the issues of this underrepresented sector in international education. One hundred and forty six participants gathered to hear education agents, government and education providers discuss international student recruitment in Australia. The international education industry responded well to the new concept and supported the event.



Project background

Education agents are responsible for more than seventy percent of international student enrolments in Australia. This industry, in partnership with providers, is responsible for the Australian education export success story. Education agents take students through the process of choosing the right education provider and are often a touch point throughout their student journey. The purpose of of SYMPLED2017 was to improve the narrative around education agents and their desire for a direct voice with government and industry.


Representatives from Department of Border Protection (immigration), Department of Education and Training (DET) as well as panels of providers and agents spoke out on what is needed to improve the operation of education agents. Following the symposium, a survey was held. Over eight hundred agents supported the formation of an association for education agents with a primary advocacy role. As a direct outcome of the symposium, a group of agents has formed a group with a national and multinational outlook - the International Student Agents Association (ISEAA).

Project deliverables

The deliverables were to organise and deliver a one-day symposium for international education agents in Sydney.  This was achieved with 12 speakers and 146 participants on the day focussing on international student recruitment issues.

Challenges and recommendations

The biggest challenge of the SYMPLED2017 project was gathering support and making it sustainable.  The recommendation is to secure more funding for future symposiums.

Further information

Robert Parsonson,,