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UCAS & Unibuddy launch peer-to-peer service

The UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has partnered with edtech startup Unibuddy to digitally connect undergraduate applicants to current students at universities and colleges across the UK.

A UCAS survey revealed that 64% of students said the ability to connect with other international students influences their university decision. Photo: UCAS

64% said the ability to connect with other international students influences their university decision

The partnership will also provide an opportunity for higher education providers to engage with applicants as soon as they start exploring their options through the admissions service’s website.

Following a pilot with several universities in July, the service goes live in November when Unibuddy is embedded into the UCAS website.

“Every prospective student will have specific concerns that only existing learners, on the ground, can address”

Providers that participate through UCAS will have the opportunity to connect with around 700,000 applicants each year – from initial research, all the way through to acceptance and enrolment.

The partnership also offers a free and easy way for students to ask questions to the ambassadors they would meet on campus at an event.

In a statement, UCAS explained that as numbers of international students coming to the UK continues to grow, the service aims to provide a significant opportunity for universities to maximise their international recruitment.

“Offering a meaningful way for applicants who live abroad to make links with existing students, those travelling from afar can obtain reassuring answers to key questions by like-minded learners already in the UK,” the statement read.

A UCAS survey revealed that 64% of students said the ability to connect with other international students influences their university decision.

“The UCAS and Unibuddy partnership opens a new digital door for all applicants to what life is really like at universities and colleges across the UK,” explained UCAS chief executive, Clare Marchant.

“Embedding Unibuddy into the UCAS website will give universities and colleges an earlier direct route to engage with students, and give those exploring their options insight into their future.”

CEO of Unibuddy Diego Fanara said he is “thrilled” to see the potential of Unibuddy’s technology integrated within UCAS’ digital framework.

“Our individual relationships with almost 200 universities in 27 countries worldwide has allowed 77,000 students from over 180 countries to make better decisions about their higher education.”

From questions about the social scene and moving away from home to how easy it is to make friends, every prospective student will have specific concerns that only existing learners can address, he explained.

“Our partnership with UCAS further democratises the application process for students and provides an immense data learning opportunity for universities via millions of conversations through the service,” Fanara added.

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