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INTCAS raises £4.1m funding for AI platform

Global admission platform INTCAS has raised £4.1m to develop an artificial intelligence platform to help students make informed decisions when choosing a career path or a university course.

The funds will go towards developing an AI platform to help students make informed decisions when choosing a career path or a university course. Photo: Insspirito/Pixabay

INTCAS is creating a "discovery engine" that will help students understand their strengths and suggest career paths they may not have considered before

The UK company is funded by a syndicate of investors around that world and it plans to draw a further £36m in autumn 2018, INTCAS chief executive, Zakaria-Saqib Mahmood told The PIE News.

“The student could be a liberal arts student who wants to do something completely different in life, but just isn’t aware of it.”

“We are essentially developing an artificial intelligence platform, very much around predicting algorithms on the future success of a student,” he said, adding that the cost of compiling the volume of data is the reason for the funding.

“It’s really like a big box of statistics and that requires a lot of money – we need a lot of resources to bring that into fruition.”

According to Mahmood, INTCAS is creating a “discovery engine” that will help students understand their strengths and suggest career paths that they have not necessarily considered before.

“It is a way of pointing students in a certain direction and making sure they are making more informed decisions rather than just saying, ‘well, I’m going to go study abroad and I’m going to become a doctor because my dad wants me to’,” he said.

“The student could be a liberal arts student who wants to do something completely different in life, but just isn’t aware of it.”

The further funding will be used to access markets worldwide.

“There are 99 countries where we want our system to be deployed and there are firm plans, and that’s the reason why we need to draw down £40m,” Mahmood explained.

“It’s so that we can do this international expansion.”

INTCAS expects the system to go live in September; it is currently going through stress testing.

“We want to make sure that we iron out all the wrinkles in the system,” Mahmood clarified, “and not fall foul of data and integrity laws that other social media platforms have recently been found guilty of.”

Mahmood added that he is confident the new platform will be unrivalled and complement INTCAS’s present admissions platform.

“We will have the whole infrastructure in place already that allows the student to make an application, [access] the rankings, the payment, the verification funds, all that information is managed through us through our admissions platform already.”

In 2016 INTCAS acquired electronic funds verification platform FundsV to enhance its provision to schools, colleges and universities.

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