Well, students coming from abroad to study in the University of Maine is not surprising, but the method of taking in students is new and more surprising too.
Yes, according to a source it is revealed that they(students) haven't come to the university on their own. Instead, they have been brought into it. They were recruited in their home countries by agents paid on a per-head basis by the public university.
The sensitive nature of the commission-based recruiting is best illustrated by the fact that it can be illegal if done within the U.S. The federal government is suing a for-profit education company for fraudulently recruiting students to its colleges. And that company and the company hired by the University of Maine System called Study Group are owned by the same parent company.
It seems like the international education market is very complicated and it's highly competitive. With Study Group, the university system is trying to catch a wave that colleges across the country are already riding.
International students, mainly from Asia, want American degrees and will pay full freight to get them. In response to this, colleges without any recognisable name or a top ranking from college rating services are hiring outside companies to promote their schools abroad.
While some universities work directly with agents, others contract with organisations known in the industry as pathways programs that offer the services of a broad network of agents as well as a program to help the students matriculate into universities.