myBROWNS, which seeks to increase the amount of face-to-face time education agents have with students, streamlines the application process, allowing agents to apply for a Brown’s course and generate and accept their own offer letter.
“We have dreamed of our education industry [being] more efficient when we compare with other industries such as tourism,” Santiago Ibarra, Browns’ Tech Innovation Manager told The PIE News.
“We see that we can lift our agencies to give them time to be more with the customer instead of with all the admin tasks. Right now, all of them spend so much time following up the schools; they miss so many opportunities when they can’t provide information their students are looking for.”
Unlike the tourism industry, however, Ibarra said there was no intention of going down the path of online booking services by providing students access to myBROWNS to apply directly to the college, adding that the portal exemplified trust between the institution and their agent partners.
“If we see agencies doing kind of dodgy things, we just remove the permissions for the agents, and we have agreements only with partners that we trust,” he said.
“It’s pretty exciting, and it shows that the industry is moving and we’re trying to find a new way to be more proactive and efficient”
“If they do something against our values, their agreement needs to be finished.”
As well as decreasing the time between application and acceptance, the portal also provides parents access to their children’s attendance and grades, further reducing communication delays which can occur across time zones and multiple stakeholders.
Speaking with The PIE, co-founder and managing director Richard Brown said the tool would be available exclusively to their agency partners and there were no intentions of creating an enterprise version of the portal for other providers.
“It’s not our core business,” he said.
“In our experiences over the last few years we learnt [to] have a tunnel-like focus, focus on what we’re doing and do it really well, and don’t deviate,” he continued, adding that as competition among providers increases, it was becoming necessary to look for unique points of difference.
“This is a platform to empower them to facilitate their time to then do more time with the customer and grow their numbers and our relationship together,” he said.
“We basically want to become the easiest school to work with.”
myBROWNS was well received by agents attending the launch, with Mate Education sales and office manager Solenn Pohu saying that it would help increase efficiency within her office.
“It’s pretty exciting, and it shows that the industry is moving and we’re trying to find a new way to be more proactive and efficient,” she said.
She added that while the tool would only be available to agents, she saw significant benefits for the student as well.
“We basically want to become the easiest school to work with”
“[Counselling] has to take time… but for us, it gives us a lot more time to assess the students and make sure we give them all the information.”
Browns English Language School has seen significant growth in the past few years, opening its fifth campus this year and becoming Queensland’s largest single English provider.