Recruitment consultant KC Overseas Education has made moves to expand its reach through West and East Africa.
The agency currently has an officer each in both Ghana and Kenya, but the recent move will see a bigger presence on the ground and more officers in both countries.
It comes after KC’s annual survey exploring student perceptions in both countries shows motivations are high to study abroad.
“Starting operations in these key locations in Africa underlines KC Overseas Education’s dedication to providing localised support and personalised solutions to our valued channel partners and students.
“By having a physical presence, we can better understand and address the specific requirements,” said co-founder and CEO of KC Overseas Pankaj Agrawal.
A representative for KC Overseas Education also told The PIE News that the further expansion on the ground will also be based on “market dynamics and current demand”.
“We are confident that our presence in these markets will enable us to forge new partnerships, drive sustainable growth and make a positive impact on the communities we serve,” Agrawal added.
The move by KC has been made amid recent discussions of visa delays that are disproportionately affecting students in Africa – especially emerging countries like Ghana and Kenya.
“Our presence in these markets will enable us to forge new partnerships, drive sustainable growth, and make a positive impact”
“Kenya has a 235-day wait-time [for visa appointments]”, said MPOWER business development director for Africa, Munya Chiura.
“By the US’s own admission, they have a backlog of cases. These are challenging aspects for our students, some of whom are already not able to get loans, and many African students are going to the US,” he said.
While there are different problems affecting the pipeline to other major destinations, such as the UK’s new dependants rule and disarray among Australia’s work rights landscape, the US is having more difficulty.
“In terms of what is going on with the visa appointments and the barriers, that does depend on relationships that each individual country has with the US government.
“What I would love is to see us move towards some uniformity – for example, the US foreign policy interests on the continent are fairly uniform,” said Lydia Bosire Kemunto, CEO of 8B Education Investments.
“We want to win the battle for influence here – and we would love for them to prioritise making those visa processes a lot easier than they are right now,” Bosire added.
KC Overseas Education, which is aware of the current visa situation, told The PIE that they always endeavour to “make students aware of the realistic timelines for them to commence their process well in advance”.
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