The trend of flying west for higher education has led students to map out their academia with the help of educational counsellors. Consultancies are opening in every corner, promising the candidates their dream university in a foreign country. Neither the parents nor the students have a clear idea about who they can invest their faith and hefty capital in. No one can decide which qualification stands paramount in the stream of consultancy. Viral Doshi, one of the most established educational mentors in the city, floated the idea of setting up a consortium to address this problem. He proposed a body that focuses on providing a licensed platform for counsellors and consultants to avoid any form of fraudulent activities.
“With the presence of numerous consultants in the field, it’s better to have a consortium which helps in licensing and regulating them so that there are fewer instances of students and parents being defrauded. It’s important to pool our resources to start this sort of an association,” said Doshi, who added that the Ministry of Education can also play a role in setting up this consortium. He went on to address the lengthy periods of time and the complications this step might entail, whilst being optimistic about this solution.
The business of educational counselling still remains fragmented according to the courses, countries, and institutions it caters to. This increases the chances of the aspirants encountering fraud within this industry whilst making standardisation difficult.
“I think a consortium is a good idea since there are all sorts of people doing counselling and we need a protocol. Questions like: Who will be the licensing authority? Who will set the standard? Need to be answered too,” said Hitesh Sharma from Edupeers.
“Different markets are run differently. At the end of the day, parents and children do make a voluntary choice while selecting a counsellor. Fraudulence is present in every market, licence is not a panacea for every ailment to go away.”
Both freelancers and established companies have been offering these services to parents and students. These counsellors had no set path to pursue this as their career.
“I was looking at a change in my career and gave a psychometric test while doing so. During the test, I came across the counselling and I realised that it was for me,” said Joyce Issac from edumilestones.
“The people who are licensed will be trained to understand a person’s problems and give good guidance based on that. There will be a uniform way of doing it making the outcome predictable. People nowadays have access to all kinds of information, which is why you really cannot control everything or moderate everything. There is a need to standardise the market, but it is not happening in India in an organised manner.”