Since our inception in 2014, BridgeU has worked with schools in over 100 countries to help students find their best-fit university options and career pathways in an increasingly globalised higher education market. We’ve also sought to empower guidance counselors and advisers who want to expose their students to a wider range of global university destinations.
But too many school counselors and advisers face significant obstacles in their quest to create a more international and robust guidance program for their students.
One problem we haven’t spoken much about is the challenge of coordinating and hosting university reps, whose visits serve as a vital opportunity for students and parents to get to know the personalities of the universities they are considering, and to ask direct and candid questions.
Many of the counselors we speak with experience the challenge of trying to invite universities from a wide variety of specialities and locations to their school campus in order to showcase the diversity of possible post-secondary opportunities available.
This is partly because counselors want to ensure that the university reps they host reflect the interests and ambitions of current students.
But it is also the case that many counselors lack a wide range of university admissions contacts. This is especially the case for education professionals new to counseling, or for those moving to a new school.
The admin of scheduling university visits can be time consuming and frustrating for counselors, especially when taking into account the two previous obstacles listed above.
Counselors also face problems in raising awareness of visits with parents and students. The end result is that many school counselors and students aren’t enable to fully leverage the benefits of an in-person university visit.
Introducing University Connect for Schools
That’s why, for the first time, we’re giving our counselors the ability to connect directly with university admission reps who have discovered their school.
University Connect is a new way for school counselors and university recruiters and admissions reps to network, arrange university visits and collaborate in meeting their respective strategic goals.
University Connect will allow school counselors to:
- Easily publish their availability to university admissions reps.
- Receive visit requests from admissions reps all over the world.
- Specify the types of visits they are open to
- Manage university visits in one place
- Publish these events to students and parents directly from within the BridgeU platform
Connect will allow schools to increase the diversity of their university contact base, and ensure that counselors are well-positioned to start meaningful and productive conversations with admission reps.
But Connect isn’t just for our schools. Schools and universities only mutually benefit from university visits if they are able to find one another.
In the next section, we’ll explore how our new BridgeU Connect for Universities platform will also help university reps discover, research and book visits with leading secondary schools from all over the world, at the click of a button.
The challenges of university recruitment
Universities and higher education institutions all over the world aspire to widen access to higher education and increase the diversity of their student intake. But these university institutions face their own unique set of obstacles.
An insufficient overview of the global secondary school market
Universities spend a lot of time and resources on visiting schools internationally, with these recruitment trips proving an invaluable opportunity to forge relationships with students and their guidance counselors. But universities are often forced to rely on inaccurate or anecdotal information when looking at potential schools to visit, whether it’s word of mouth, existing in-market data or manual research.
This can quickly lead to knowledge gaps. It increases the likelihood of universities drawing talent from the same pool of applicants, in turn limiting recruiters’ ability to increase the diversity, quality and quantity of their intake.
Poorly targeted recruitment trips cost time and money
When it comes time to plan recruitment trips and school visits, knowledge gaps in universities’ research mean recruiters can’t always be sure they’re targeting the right schools, or visiting schools where the students have an interest in their institution. This means that school visits and recruitment trips don’t always guarantee a sensible return on cost and may even prove unnecessary and time consuming.
It can be difficult for universities to coordinate visits with schools and ensure they maximise their time and effort when planning in-country recruitment trips.
Introducing BridgeU Connect for Universities
For the first time, BridgeU Connect will give recruitment leaders and admissions teams at universities the ability to define, measure and meet their strategic recruitment goals. And, like BridgeU schools, universities will be able to manage their university visits and recruitment trips on one platform.
Honing your recruitment strategy
Rather than relying on backward looking historical applicant data or manual research to inform market understanding, BridgeU Connect will allow university admissions reps to use real-time data and specific filters to discover geographies, micro-markets and pockets of BridgeU secondary schools that meet their specific strategic recruitment focus.
Discover & build lists of target schools
Having defined a recruitment strategy, university admissions reps can then leverage Connect to find, discover and build lists of secondary schools that meet their specific criteria, including school location, school curricula, senior class size and whether a university rep has previously visited the school.
Armed with a more strategic and comprehensive overview of the global schools market, universities can then use BridgeU Connect to quickly and easily book visits with counselors in these schools and localities. When booking a visit, universities will gain visibility of a school’s calendar, ensuring their recruitment trip aligns with the schedules of counselors and students, and allowing both parties to take full advantage of the visit.
BridgeU Connect is an exciting innovation in our drive to build an approach to university and careers guidance fit for the 21st century. For the first time, international schools and global universities will be able to meet, partner and collaborate across borders and time-zones.
If you’d like to know more about how BridgeU Connect is working to partner schools and universities across the world, book a demo to learn more about our new platform and how it can help you.