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CIS and Concourse aim to shake up applications

The Council of International Schools and Concourse have announced a partnership in a bid to expand access for students seeking global higher education opportunities.

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Larsson noted that the international school sector over the past three decades have seen a number of shifts

The online platform – which seeks to reinvent admissions whereby universities make proactive admission offers to students based on academic performance, interests, and financial needs – said the partnership will “streamline access to Concourse for over 1,330 CIS member schools and universities in 123 countries”.

Additionally, it will “attract a greater number of excellent institutions to embrace our student-centric admission model, and bring more higher education opportunities to graduating students around the world”, Concourse CEO Joe Morrison explained.

“At Concourse, our mission is to create more access and equity in higher education by reinventing admissions. The effectiveness of our flipped admission platform is increasing exponentially as we bring on new universities, high schools, and students,” he told The PIE.

CIS recognises a need for change in the way students connect with higher education institutions, and new ways “have led to greater access and equity”, according to executive director Jane Larsson.

The partnership is about serving both universities and students, and will allow more opportunities to engage during the application process.

“It helps students and parents learn more about universities that they may not have previous considered,” she detailed.

“It helps students and parents learn more about universities that they may not have previous considered”

CIS university and school members will have access to the Concourse platform with no up-front fees and preferential rates for universities when matches occur, the partners added.

They will also collaborate on a joint CIS Match program in the future, which will aim to connect CIS universities with students in CIS schools.

International education has expanded, Larsson continued, with local schools internationalising and CIS members schools – which have previously focused on catering to expatriate families – enrolling more students from the local areas where they are situated.

Larsson noted that the international school sector over the past three decades have seen a number of shifts.

While student populations have moved from expatriate families, predominantly consisting of global nomadic students of mobile parents, schools typically serve increasingly local population in 2020. Changes in culture, staff and pedagogy are also recognised, she added.

Culture is now more embedded in local traditions with increasing populations of local teachers, in addition to curriculum no longer necessarily being grounded on western pedagogy and is typically more sensitive to local context.

In general, scholarships are increasingly in demand, she added, but warned to take the generalisation with a pinch of salt, emphasising that the CIS membership is very broad. The closer collaboration between schools and higher education providers is hoped to make the application process more affordable, she noted.

“It’s so complex, there are many barriers [in the application process],” she said, indicating that the partnership is one way those barriers are aiming to be broken.

“Our partnership sets an example for the industry on bringing together technology and community to create an improved transition for students to higher education along the lines imagined in NACAC’s recent report Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access,” Morrison added.

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