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UWC Atlantic College

UWC Atlantic College hosts 350 students from over 90 different countries, studying the IB Diploma Programme. The school believes that the university guidance process for students should be exciting and challenging.

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At a glance

  • At the IB school UWC Atlantic College, BridgeU replaced an internal database
  • Students and advisors have made the most of the enhanced communication the new platform offers
  • Getting started with BridgeU was straightforward, with ongoing support provided
  • Students at UWC Atlantic College come from over 90 countries, requiring an international approach
  • UWC Atlantic College students have now expanded the range of universities to which they apply
  • Centralising different tools and databases has been crucial for UWC Atlantic College staff
BridgeU has very detailed information on universities in a wide range of countries, which are the most popular countries among our students.
Anna Boyd, Director of University Guidance, UWC Atlantic College

Choosing BridgeU

In the majestic setting of the 12th century St Donat’s Castle, perched on a cliff in Wales, UWC Atlantic College hosts 350 students from over 90 different countries. Students, aged between 16 and 19, take a two-year Diploma Programme that is divided between the IB DP, and a programme of experiential learning.

UWC Atlantic College believes that the university guidance process for students should be exciting and challenging. To manage the process, they previously used an internal database to track what students were doing, but they felt the lack of additional data keenly, and the burden that it placed on students.

“There was a lot of information provided,” says Anna Boyd, Director of University Guidance at the college, “but it was a challenge.” UWC Atlantic College was sold on the fact that BridgeU has “very detailed information on universities in a wide range of countries, which are the most popular countries among my students.”

The other major selling point for UWC Atlantic College was the communication that BridgeU enables. “Being able to communicate to the students through a system, checking where they are and their status,” which, Boyd says, stops her having to rely on students coming to her and self-report.

It helps our students figure out what country might be the right place for them.

Students using BridgeU

UWC Atlantic College’s diverse student body has benefited from BridgeU’s ability to provide guidance and information on multiple different education systems across the globe. “It helps our students figure out what country might be the right place for them,” says Boyd, and makes sense of the different concepts of higher education between different countries.

“The profile builder helps in identifying what it is that students are actually looking for in a university,” she says, and lots of the students go on to use the matching tool after they’ve built up their profiles. With students who applied to universities in countries before they were on the system – for example, students applying to Japanese universities pre-2018, when Japan became available on BridgeU through global shortlisting – Boyd encourages them to use other aspects of BridgeU, such as the strategic advisor.

The other tools “can make things fit better for whatever application they are writing”, whether that’s the writing builder or the notes section. With BridgeU’s help, Boyd has encouraged a wide range of students at UWC Atlantic College to map out clear post-secondary pathways. “I promote the notes section [to students] because I really think it helps them,” she says. Students look back at it when they’re writing their applications and say “‘Oh yeah! That’s what I like about that university’, or ‘I need to talk about their awesome choir’ or ‘I need to make sure I apply for that scholarship’.”

 

The real benefit of working with such a young and dynamic company is that BridgeU really listens to its clients. You’re willing to listen and take on new ideas from both sides
Anna Boyd, Director of University Guidance

Advisors using BridgeU

BridgeU doesn’t reinvent the wheel – it gives us tools that help students, that help me, and that help communication with universities. 

“In the past, at the end of the academic year, I’d think ‘I hope I’ve seen the majority of the students.’ This year, I knew there were six students who hadn’t come to see me and fill out the profile builder.” BridgeU’s tracking and task management tools are allowing Boyd to keep a close eye on how students are progressing through the application process. “The most useful thing [on the platform] for me is setting a task and seeing where my students are within that task.”

As the sole university advisor to UWC Atlantic College students, Boyd also gets a lot of use from the writing tools on BridgeU. “In the past, [editing personal statements] was more of a pen and paper exercise, or reading something on the screen and then sending it back by email,” she says. The easy accessibility of BridgeU’s tools means that students can take on edits to their work quickly and easily.

“BridgeU doesn’t reinvent the wheel – it gives us tools that help students identify matches, that help the communication between me and students, and that help communication with universities.” For Boyd, using BridgeU means processes that she was running manually before have become easier and more efficient.

Having everything in one place is also a big draw. “It’s a centralised tool,” she says, “rather than going into a Word document and then an Excel file and then uploading something to UCAS and Common App… now we can put it all in one place, so everybody has a source to go to, instead of being completely lost.”

 

Trends and support

Since UWC Atlantic College started using BridgeU, Boyd has seen students expanding the range of universities to which they apply, as well as the geographic range of applications. “It used to be the case that a majority of our students would apply to our partner universities in the US,” she says. “What I’ve noticed is that there is quite a number of other universities that are now popping up in conversation. I’m even discovering new universities that I hadn’t heard about before.”

Australia, in particular, has come onto students’ radars since its addition to BridgeU. The platform gives students “the opportunity to do all their research in one place, rather than having to look at different country websites for hours, which is awful.”

We are really working hard in the school to make sure the tutor takes a prominent role in student communication

Boyd also praised the support and communication from the team at BridgeU. “The support from BridgeU has been excellent from the beginning,” she says. The dedicated customer success team set up UWC Atlantic College’s account in person, and has been there for Boyd whenever she’s had questions about the platform. “I always get a reply straight away… that has always been really, really helpful, and one of the reasons that I would definitely continue working with BridgeU.”

As for what’s next, Boyd is determined to get more teachers at UWC Atlantic College involved with the platform. “We are really working hard in the school to make sure the tutor takes a prominent role within student communication,” she says. “Making the tutors more able to work with the system, so that they can work better with the students” is a major aim for UWC Atlantic College over the next year.

The results of using BridgeU

Students are expanding their views on potential destination countries, universities, and courses
Dedicated customer support means UWC Atlantic College always has a place to turn with their questions
Processes that UWC Atlantic College was running before have become easier and more efficient

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