Case Study 21st February 2024

St. Andrew's International High School

At a glance…

About the school

St. Andrew’s International High School has around 500 students, and the majority of staff are teachers from the UK. BridgeU is used to support their sixth-form students and they are looking at extending it to Year 11 students.

As the University Guidance Counsellor, it’s Khethiwe’s responsibility to run the guidance office and counselling services, alongside her teaching responsibilities, to help her sixth-form students get ready for university applications. At the moment, she’s focusing on university and career guidance.

When it comes to her students’ university applications, Khethiwe has noticed an increase in diversity over the last five years. Historically, universities in the United Kingdom were the primary destination for students at St. Andrews. However, there has been a surge in applications recently to the rest of Europe, Australia, and the United States. 

Occasionally, students also apply to South Africa, Kenya, and Canadian universities, with Canada standing out because of the variety of scholarship opportunities available.

Connecting with universities around the world

Khethiwe noted that before BridgeU, it was challenging for her and her students to find the information they needed when applying to universities internationally, one example being the US. 

Since incorporating BridgeU into her curriculum, she has worked extensively with Jen King and Chrissy Hadjipanteli (Customer Success Team) and  Product Manager Carmen Molina. They spent valuable time ensuring that the SAIntS students got the benefits of using the paid-for platform at that time. SAIntS were happy to renew their subscriptions every year until the platform was made available for free.

Currently, Khethiwe is working with her Customer Success Manager (CSM), Lydia, to connect with universities around the world and set up virtual and in-person workshops at her school.

Facilitating university meetings for parents

Many of the parents at SAIntS were uncertain about sending their children to universities abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, so BridgeU worked with university representatives to help Khethiwe set up workshops for parents to help ease any doubt. 

These meetings have continued after the pandemic, and they allow parents to ask their questions at universities their child is interested in. They also use these meetings to explain the fees and costs for their university to help better put this into perspective.

This helps put parents at ease and also ensures they have up-to-date information when it comes to helping their child prepare for application season.

Engaging teachers with BridgeU workshops

Khethiwe actively engages teachers in using BridgeU through workshops conducted by their CSM, which provide them with training on how to use the platform efficiently.

For example, upon recognising the growing number of students applying to US universities, Khethiwe reached out to her CSM to arrange a workshop with a US university, with a specific focus on writing letters of recommendation for the teachers. 

As a result, Marist College, a BridgeU partner university in New York, collaborated with St. Andrews to conduct a workshop tailored to the needs of the school’s faculty.

“It was a brilliant session! All those who attended benefitted, and it’s a great example of our partnership with BridgeU allowing us to find the right connections for our teachers and our students.”

Khethiwe Hove
University Guidance Counsellor, St. Andrew’s International High School

Using BridgeU to foster student-university connections

BridgeU serves as a valuable tool for facilitating connections between Khethiwe’s students and global universities. Through the platform, students can schedule meetings and communicate directly with universities, which reduces barriers and empowers students in their university research journey.

Utilising BridgeU’s Tasks to oversee student guidance

Khethiwe also complimented the extensive range of tasks provided for her to assign to her students. She often uses the set tasks provided to help guide her students through the platform.

An example of the Tasks dashboard on BridgeU.

She noted that the tasks are a great way to gently encourage her Year 12 students, and it’s beneficial for her students to have guidance even when they are navigating BridgeU independently. 

Tasks are especially helpful for students who aren’t as motivated or need an extra push. They also help her follow up with her students and ensure they’re on the right track with their university applications.

“A lot of extensive work has been done on the platform, such that if a student was very curious, they could spend a lot of time looking and finding the information they need.”

Khethiwe Hove
University Guidance Counsellor, St. Andrew’s International High School

Simplifying Document Sending with BridgeU

Since incorporating BridgeU’s Document Sending tool into Khethiwe’s guidance programme, she’s noticed a big improvement in how accessible platforms like the Common App are for her and the teachers at St. Andrews.

Khethiwe has her students sync their CommonApp applications with BridgeU, allowing her to process and access all of the information easily. She also highlighted that through the platform’s constant updates and improvements, such as the recent dashboard update, she’s able to manage her workload much easier.

Moreover, she finds BridgeU beneficial for applying to any universities that utilise portals, not just the CommonApp. Wherever she needs to upload additional documents for her students, the information is readily available for her on-platform.

“I really do appreciate what BridgeU is doing and the continuous improvement!”

Khethiwe Hove
University Guidance Counsellor, St. Andrew’s International High School

Planning for the future

Looking ahead to the rest of the academic year, Khethiwe plans to utilise BridgeU’s Student Overview when she meets with her students in June. She also intends to use BridgeU’s Tasks feature extensively with her Year 12 students as a tool to foster their development and preparedness for university applications.

Additionally, she’s committed to enhancing her curriculum to better equip younger students with the skills necessary to successfully navigate the university application process. She highlighted that she’s excited to unlock more of the benefits BridgeU has to offer when it comes to involving younger students.

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