At a glance
- Aga Khan were in need of a new guidance platform after Naviance withdrew from the international school market outside North America.
- Aga Khan Hyderabad is part of an international network of schools, so required a platform that could offer global reach and support.
- Counsellors at Aga Khan have found BridgeU to be a platform which is responsive to their needs and feedback.
- Middle years students at the school have enjoyed using the BridgeU Strategy Adviser to explore their personal strengths and skills.
Aga Khan Hyderabad is an IB World School which offers the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme. Hyderabad is part of a wider network of academies encompassing Central & South Asia, Africa & The Middle East. Aga Khan Academies are built on the principles of giving students a globally relevant education.
Aga Khan adopted BridgeU, having previously used Naviance to help deliver their university and careers guidance programme. When Naviance announced its decision to withdraw from the international guidance market outside of Canada & the United States, the counselling team at Aga Khan Hyderabad had to quickly identify another platform for their school guidance needs.
University Counsellor Pragati Pandey notes that “because we are a network of schools, we needed something with a global reach”. Pragati Pandey, University Counselor at Aga Khan comments that BridgeU is ‘neat, quick and reduces the counselor’s workload”
A responsive guidance platform
Pragati notes that the Customer Support team have been very helpful in helping Aga Khan Hyderabad integrate BridgeU into the school’s guidance curriculum. Pragati has found that she was able to easily contact the CS team with any problems, via e-mail or through the platform’s instant chat feature. She credits the responsiveness of the team, particularly Aga Khan’s CS Manager, Sanchita Kathandai – “One of the reasons we have found the process easier is the receptiveness of the customer support team. There have been times when I’ve sent urgent emails and gotten an immediate response.”
Pragati also highlights BridgeU’s willingness to modify the platform based on the needs and feedback of counselors and students.
Helping younger students explore their strengths
Pragati notes that BridgeU has been very useful for Year 9 and 10 students who are in the earlier stages of the school’s guidance programme. Middle years students at Aga Khan Hyderabad have enjoyed using the Strategy Adviser to reflect on their personal & academic strengths and thinking about how they can build on their existing skill-set in the years leading up to university application.
The Strategy Adviser takes students through a 3-step process to list their experiences, interests and extracurricular activities, and they are then shown how these might demonstrate the personal qualities that universities in different countries are looking for.
Pragati explains that Aga Khan Hyderabad students use their strategy report to “give them an idea of where they need to build & consolidate their strengths, and where they need to put in more work.” The counseling team at Aga Khan has also used tailored lesson plans in the BridgeU Help Centre to encourage students to set goals for building on their strengths and experiences, which will in turn help with university application.
Pragati and her team have also found the Writing Builder tool to be useful for focusing students’ minds around university preparation. The Writing Builder gives Aga Khan students valuable insights into:
- What a university application essay looks like.
- Annotated examples of essays for universities in countries like the US and UK.
- How they can organise their personal experiences to meet the expectations of different institutions.
Because Aga Khan Hyderabad is an IB World School, the Writing Builder also helps students to reflect on how the experiences and activities they undertake through the CAS programme might be useful in essays such as the UCAS Personal Statement.
Overall, Pragati says that she has found BridgeU has enabled Aga Khan to better align its guidance programme through the Middle Years of the IB and into the Diploma Programme. This encourages students to think about a university and guidance strategy much earlier in their school life. Pragati notes that “students don’t see guidance as two isolated processes, it is one journey.”
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