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A Partnership for Quality: UK Quality Framework for Education Agents

UK Agent Quality Framework


The UK Agent Quality Framework (AQF) is committed to enhancing quality agent governance and ensuring ethical agent practices across the sector so prospective students have the best advice and support throughout their journey to studying in the UK.

The Framework is made up of a number of key guidance and quality assurance tools designed to enhance the partnership between the UK education sector and agents and counsellors and to recognise and share best practices. Empowering student choice and ensuring the best possible student experience.

Jointly established by the British Universities’ International Liaison Association (BUILA), Universities UK International (UUKi), UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the British Council, the AQF recognises the critical role that agents and counsellors play in attracting and supporting international students wishing to study in the UK, providing a set of free tools to equip education providers, agents, and students with the knowledge and best practice to maintain quality partnerships across the international student recruitment journey.  


The AQF consists of the following tools and documents:


In support of the AQF, HEIs and international education providers across the UK have signed and committed to the UK Agent Quality Framework Pledge, to demonstrate support for the framework and a commitment to quality assurance in agent management practices within their institutions.   

The pledge shows an institution's commitment to the principles of the Agent Quality Framework, as well as a plan for setting them into practice with a set of basic quality measures. These principles include: 

  • Empowering student choice and enabling informed decision making
  • Ensuring good agent governance and professionalism
  • Promoting ethical agent practices, professional knowledge and competency
  • Increasing transparency and accountability


Alongside providing clarity and security for both international students and agents, the Pledge provides a demonstrable commitment from the UK HE sector towards sustainable internationalisation practices. It also responds to concerns from Government around “unscrupulous education agents” by providing a proactive, sector-led approach to agent quality management. 

The AQF is continuously being enhanced with the following developments underway to further strengthen the Framework:

  • Development of an agent risk framework
  • The enhanced sharing of agent information between the sector and the Government
  • The creation of an authority for students to speak to if they are unsatisfied with the services provided by their agent
Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Agent Quality Framework please contact Edward Chan