Demand to check mushrooming of illegal overseas education consultancies

Students aspiring for higher education abroad say they are forced to approach police to screen out suspected agencies

Published - November 19, 2022 08:23 pm IST - Kozhikode

Students aspiring to pursue higher education abroad are yet to have a proper mechanism in the State to check the authenticity of private agencies offering overseas opportunities. The details of such agencies are being verified by aspirants with the support of the police.

Since a majority of consultancy agencies charge huge advance and commission for their services, students and parents are worried about the security of the money deposited with the agencies. Moreover, the experience of a few duped students has doubled the aspirants’ concerns.

“Though agencies like NoRKA Roots claim that they are making interventions to prevent fake offers, an easily accessible verification mechanism for aspirants is yet to be a reality. Most of them are forced to trust local agencies who are apparently good at canvasing clients with attractive offers,” said Sneha Devassia, an anaesthetic technician who is waiting for her turn for higher studies and a part-time job abroad. “What I do now is check with the police the history of agencies that I come in contact with,” she added.

Functionaries of some State-level nursing associations said there were around 3,000 agencies across the State offering services. There is no clarity whether the agencies have operational licence or are controlled by government agencies, they added.

“There were incidents where some agencies cheated candidates after securing commission. There were also instances of agencies declining to offer the promised services after the departure of candidates for foreign countries,” said a nurse from Kozhikode who recently migrated to the United Kingdom. She said many cheated aspirants and their families could not afford to resort to legal proceedings against such agencies.

Since there are large number of vacancies for nurses in countries like the UK, the agencies back home are busy canvasing nurses with attractive offers on migration for higher studies and work. According to sources, some agencies are reportedly collecting huge sums as commission to complete paper work. There have also been instances of agencies offering to fabricate experience certificates of candidates to match the requirements of overseas recruiters, they said.

Meanwhile, Labour department officials said efforts were on to introduce a stronger licensing system and monitoring mechanism. Discussions are in progress to finalise a concrete action plan in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Finance, they clarified.

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