Company: CENTRAL COLLEGE
State: NEW SOUTH WALES
Sector: EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
CENTRAL COLLEGE EXPANDS INDIAN STUDENT INTAKE
Central College, a Sydney-based private vocational education and training institution offering courses in business, accounting, information technology and tourism, has also tapped the Indian market successfully. Also accredited as an English College and high school, in the second semester of 2001, Central College had 980 students, 48 per cent of whom were from South Asia, with Indian student enrolments growing by 8 per cent per annum.
Central Collegeís involvement with the Indian student market began about eight years ago, when some education agents in India faxed their details through to the college and offered to act as representatives. After some preliminary and in-country research, Central realised the sizeable opportunities the Indian market offered. It selected a group of preferred agents and began running a regular seminar program in India. Over time, Central increasingly focused its efforts on the southern regions of India, particularly Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh and Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. In more recent times, more students have come from the northern state of Punjab.
These efforts paid off handsomely, with Indian student numbers increasing from 20 in 1995 to over 200 in 2000. The bulk of initial student interest focussed on business and management courses, but recently course demand shifted strongly towards information technology and related courses. However, student growth levelled off in recent semesters as authorities in both countries enforced tighter controls on student qualifications and entry requirements.
Central College emphasises the importance of agent choice. Careful research into the agentís business experience and previous positive links with other foreign education institutions provides a very good pointer to performance. Central notes it is necessary to be comfortable with the choice of agent and recommends looking for people with whom Australian educational institutions have a close business and product affinity.
Unfortunately, Central College is not optimistic about their Indian businessís future; they expect shrinking Indian revenue due to the impact of tighter student visa requirements for India. However, the higher education sector offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses may not be so affected.
Source: Central College, 2001.