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IDP Education has a lot to celebrate in its 50th anniversary year as it was crowned ‘Best Education Agency’ at the Pieoneer 2019 Awards.

The IDP Connect UK team collected the award on behalf of IDP at a glittering ceremony in London’s Guildhall on Thursday, September 19. IDP joined other winners in international higher education including Universities UK International and CEO & Founder of Diversity Abroad, Andrew Gordon.

IDP Connect CEO Simon Emmett said he was proud IDP received this recognition in the same year it's celebrating its 50th anniversary: "We are driven by a passion to help people change their lives by gaining a global education."

He said this award was for the IDP counsellors: "It’s your expertise and integrity that separates us from the rest. To our wider global team, congratulations on your role in making the world a better place by enabling global education."

With 120 offices in 30 countries, IDP is the only agency affording the consortium access to this global reach of trusted education counsellors to its 680 clients across the world.

Leading the industry for best practice processes

In the past 50 years, IDP has pioneered many advancements in the industry. These include supporting the introduction of Streamline Visa Processing in Australia, introducing digital events, launching computer-delivered IELTS and providing clients with data-driven content services.

As the new Streamline Visa Processing policy came into play, IDP proactively engaged 38 universities to establish a comprehensive and consistent process for checking students are genuine. This thorough process was welcomed by Australian universities and became best practice. Many universities adopted this approach for their wider network of agents.

The IDP app is another example of how IDP is helping evolve the industry. While expos are still an important recruitment channel, they were old fashion. IDP changed this by incorporating technology to improve the experience and address long wait lines, paperwork, minimal insights into event attendees and difficulties determining ROI.

Since its global introduction, the app has received 98,047 registrations across 248 events (26% in student event attendance). At a recent Malaysian roadshow, 90% of clients rated it as "good" or better, agreeing the digital solution was easy to use and enhanced their experience.

Growth for all student destinations, better options for students

IDP’s variety of clients is critical to IDP's success, as counsellors can find the best country and institution to suit an individual customer’s needs.

In recent years IDP has invested significantly in expanding its portfolio for newer destinations of Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland and New Zealand.

This has resulted in strong growth:

  • Canada (126% increase in student volumes compared to FY17)

  • UK – (27% increase in student volumes compared to FY17))

  • USA – (11% increase in student volumes compared to FY17)

  • NZ – (31% increase in student volumes compared to FY17)

  • AUS – (3% increase in student volumes compared to FY17)

In addition to student placement volume growth, IDP has invested in growing its physical network of offices and digital infrastructure.

Non-financial growth highlights include:

  • 13 new offices established in key growth markets – India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, New Zealand and Egypt – making IDP's counselling services more accessible to students.

  • Ireland established as a new full-service destination with University College Dublin a cornerstone client, allowing students more choice in their study destinations.

  • 27% increase in online visitors across IDP’s network of websites.

  • 37% increase in student placement leads.

Key metric – Satisfied students 

  • IDP’s most important metric is customer satisfaction. In FY18, close to 9 in 10 students said they were likely to refer IDP to a friend or family.

Data-led insights to shape strategies

IDP’s market knowledge and experience provides institutions a view of the bigger picture - delivering accurate data and analysis in real time. The IDP Connect insights tool tracks 200 separate metrics of 124 million digital visits, helping inform institutional marketing and recruitment strategies.

IDP Connect shares this intelligence with universities to build international strategies.

This is evidenced by IDP’s invitation from University of Queensland to present at the International team’s ‘UQ Update Day’ on trends in the international market to senior leaders in UQ’s academic and professional staff. IDP’s trusted insights were used to enhance the university’s understanding of international market opportunities.

In 2018, IDP Connect launched Content Hubs. These hubs allow institutions to showcase stories that resonate with students in multiple languages on IDP and Hotcourses international websites and social media accounts.

Content Hubs:

  • Allow universities to design recruitment strategies based off IDP online insights.

  • Present content for 74 million website visits.

  • Attract and nurture students through the buying decision funnel.

Evidence this is delivering results:

  • Early stage engagement - Clients are 83% more likely to receive a student enquiry through IDP online platform when using content hub than using a static page.

  • Increase in applications: 31% increase in enrolments (YoY) for clients with Content Hub compared to 14% for clients without.

A student-first organisation

IDP counsellors regularly go above and beyond to support their students. An example of this was Nhu Ngoc Dinh, from Vietnam, who wanted to study Foundation Studies at Swinburne University.  She had left her application very late and contacted IDP Melbourne three days before the intake closed for February, 2019. Dinh was extremely distressed, overwhelmed with paper and unsure how she was going to make the cut off and continue her studies in Australia.

Jimmy, an IDP Counsellor and certified migration agent, was able to help Dinh enrol into the course. He was in regular contacting with Swinburne’s admissions team to communicate about the progress of the application. Jimmy also facilitated accommodation through the Australian Homestay Network.

Showing their support, Dinh’s parents left this review on Google of IDP’s support:

“Jimmy helped my daughter to enrol into foundation studies. He is extremely helpful and guided my daughter to enrol into the program in an effective and easy way. As a parent, I don’t need to worry much and Jimmy always updated my daughter and myself with what is going on with her application and I really recommend IDP Melbourne and Jimmy for other international students”

Thought leaders in international education services

IDP is committed to making the whole industry stronger for the benefit of its customers.

Some initiatives IDP leads on are:

The Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) is the number one annual professional development opportunities that brings together the full spectrum of international education community, from government, higher education, ELICOS, schools and service providers.

The impact of AIEC is it is the platform for key policy announcements in the Australasia region. Through its roundtables and workshops, industry leaders come together to collaborate and act on initiatives that improve students’ experiences.

IDP Education (Cambodia) also established the annual CamTESOL. CamTESOL is the premier professional development conference in the Asia Pacific region with an average audience of 1,700. The impact of CAMTESOL is it increases the capability of teachers in the region by increasing the links between the ELT communities in Southeast Asia and the international ELT community.

Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA) and Insights Day. Now in their sixth year, the WUSCAs offer prospective students an unbiased, student-led alternative to traditional university ranking systems. The Awards are based on averages taken from tens of thousands of reviews submitted by students and published on Whatuni.com.

Accompanying the annual awards ceremony is an Insights Day where institutions can learn about trends and understand factors students care about.

The impact of the WUSCAS is it helps reinforce to universities the voices of their students are critically important. Students benefit as they can trust the reviews of their peers when considering where to study, so they can make their decision with clarity and confidence.

IDP is also a co-owner of IELTS. For more than 30 years IELTS has led the world of language testing and is the world’s most trusted high-stakes test for study, work and migration purposes.

Thanks to our Corporate Communications Manager, IDP Education Global, Gracie Daniel, for writing the award-winning submission for Pieoneer 2019 ‘Best Agency’ and to all those teams who contributed.

For more information on IDP Connect, contact clientpartnershipteam@idp-connect.com

Sophie Tudor23 September 2019