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Monday, December 10th, 2012

Cheap Hotels, Expensive Lies.

I’ve often wondered how these universities agree to work in such poor working conditions and environments which these agencies subject them to in the name of recruitment. This is my sixth year in the education abroad industry and I frequently witness Canadian university representatives holding their counselling sessions in cheap hotels where a respectable family would think twice to step in, leave alone send their children to attend the seminars. It also makes me wonder why these education agents choose such small cities and towns where hardly anyone can speak English.

On an average in Punjab, we are subjected to not less than a minimum of ten ads a day in any given newspaper. It’s obvious how desperate these agents are in offering students all kind of freebies – no application fees, free air tickets, free stays for a week, and not to mention a guaranteed visa and PR status. By going with such partners I wonder if these universities ever check the advertisements released by these unscrupulous agents and endorse these lies.

There is no denying the fact that these agents can draw big crowds and why not? Most of these agents deal with immigration, business visas, visit visas- all short quick solutions to the desperate souls who want to enter Canada by hook or by crook. No wonder such sessions draw crowds. But how many people are sincere? At the end of the day it’s all about visas and numbers for the kind of energy, time and money the universities invest when partnering with such agencies.

How do these agencies get away with the lies? Since most Punjabis can hardly speak English or communicate, the agents manipulate the information to suit their selfish motives while interacting with university representatives on their behalf.

For those who still work with such agents do they have any regrets with their decision to be a party to it? Do they ever regret recruiting in non descriptive cities with nothing great happening to meet their recruitment goals? Then I think they are caught in their own web. Who are we to complain?

Ms. Amrita Mangat is Manager of the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC) in Ludhiana, servicing the Punjab in India. She has been with the CUAC for six years and previously held several leading posts in secondary education in Punjab.

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