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’.”