Student Recruitment – Perennial Issues – Three Core Contracts

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Presenter: John Boon J.D.

In this modern context, most public and private institutions market more aggressively. Even institutions with waiting lists are always looking for the best students.

Education marketing is ultimately about inducing persons into entering binding student contracts. That is legal reality, but too little attention is paid to what student contracts are all about. That is a subject addressed in detail by other training products, but key elements relate to this issue of recruitment.

The use of third party (not in-house) recruitment has been around a long time and is becoming an even more prominent feature of modern education marketing in public and private sectors.

Students and their families, institutions, recruiters and immigration and education consulting service companies must put more attention on the legal nature of their various and respective relationships.

It is common for students or families to contract separately (from institutions) with the same parties that institutions contract with for recruitment services. Students may want someone to help them find good colleges, support them during their studies and manage immigration or other matters. That is separate from what institutions ask recruiters to do. Conflicts arise. Contract relations and functions get confused.

Three core contracts – student-institution, institution-recruiter and student-student service firm contracts – should be distinct, but their terms should be consistent and complementary.

  •  Key inclusions for these three distinct core contracts – and the need to keep them distinct.
  • Control of staff and recruiter/agent (term avoided) representations.
  • Why the term “Agent” and agency law are often best avoided given consequent liabilities.
  • How to manage marketing, internal and third-party recruitment, enrollment and contract risk.
  • Letters of acceptance as interim and conditional contracts.
  • Core elements of the applicable law of contract – contract formation – performance – dispute management and remedies for non-performance or misrepresentation.
  • Admission standards – no guarantee of admission – representations of difficulty – likely success.
  • Payment issues – what various contracts must say to protect the recruiter, institution and student.
  • Similar issues with institutions, students, immigration/education consultants (lawyers) and other third parties.