Edlocate has been exclusively representing Australian tertiary educational institutions in Sri Lanka and the Maldives since its inception in the year 2000. At present it directly represents 17 Australian universities of which 7 are of the prestigious Group of Eight "Go8". Edlocate also represents a number of reputed pathway providers as well as those offering the university Foundation programmes.
Over the years, Edlocate has sent hundreds of genuine students to Australia at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. There are many students Edlocate assisted in getting scholarships at all levels of studies including PhD. The universities are quite happy with the quality of the students they receive through Edlocate and regularly support Edlocate's promotional activities locally as well as by inviting the counseling staff for agents' workshops.
I had the opportunity to speak with Chrysantha De Alwis, the Chief Operating Officer of Edlocate. He was the former Director of Sales at Hilton Colombo, who has joined Edlocate. I asked him regarding the future plans of Edlocate and the direction it would take after providing over a decade of dedicated and unblemished services to the students to study in Australia.
Chrysantha explained that not all students could enter Australian universities to do a complete course of studies in Australia. The Australian Dollar value is very high and the tuition fees of the top Australian universities are also comparatively high.
Over the years Edlocate has been receiving inquiries from prospective students who are keen to undertake pathway programmes to reputed Australian universities. With this in sight, Edlocate was appointed as a direct representative by two premier universities in Malaysia which have articulation to several universities in Australia for a good number of undergraduate degree courses.
This gave the students the option of following part of their studies in Malaysia and then transferring to Australia. Not only is this a cheaper option, but students also have the benefit of getting a lesser "culture shock" by studying in Malaysia which is culturally similar to Sri Lanka and Maldives to start with.
Palitha Wijesuriya - the Director International of Edlocate based in Adelaide handling the Australian Representative office of Edlocate, added that, to meet the demands of prospective students and their parents for the past many years, Edlocate decided to have official representation of a limited number of selected universities and pathway course providers in the UK, New Zealand, Malaysia, China and India. The prime criteria once again with regard to these representations are the reputation and standings of these institutions in the region/ world of tertiary study providers.
He said that "we get lots of requests seeking to appoint us as the representative of various educational institutions and we simply thank them and say sorry if these institutions do not meet up to the standard of the mix of universities we already represent'. He also said "We are not in the business of collecting names of institutions under the banner of institutions we represent"
Nilanthi Jayasinghe & Thilanka Chethiyawardana who handle the Division of Business Development & Promotions at Edlocate too were present at the interview. They explained that there is a need to show prospective students and parents the value of a foreign degree completed at a good university, in order to become skilled persons and would conquer the job market easily.
Some universities offer such students, post graduate research based scholarships. Not all the universities give this edge to the students. Only well recognized universities with good curriculums such as the ones that Edlocate represent would be able to help the student to achieve this advantage over the others.
This is what students and parents want to know and this is what the division is now focusing on to take to students in schools in Colombo and Kandy districts through the Edlocate offices especially when university representatives visit Sri Lanka which has now become a regular feature. They also said that Edlocate would strongly support the generic promotional efforts by Austrade Office at the Australian High Commission in Colombo in addition to participating in exhibitions organized by Austrade and other reputed organizations.
Chrysantha said that Edlocate has increased the student counseling staff to 4 in Colombo and 2 in Kandy. They will be provided with training at international offices of institutions we represent as well as giving every opportunity to get them exposed to the atmosphere of these institutions. This, he said is very necessary because those who counsel must have good first hand product knowledge.
At the conclusion of the interview I felt that Edlocate is thinking afresh after infusion of the excellent marketing and sales skills of Chrysantha at the helm of its operations. This certainly would offer students from Sri Lanka and Maldives excellent opportunities to study overseas, qualify and join international work forces in the years ahead just as they have done in the past.
For more information please visit www.edlocate.lk or contact on 0114740126/4724735 [Colombo] 081-2386777 [Kandy] or email to firstname.lastname@example.org