By Ravin Sandhu
The Use of Technology to Propel a Student-Centric Approach
The recent popularity of international student recruitment has had several recruitment models pop up across the world, each claiming a different USP. The majority of the change is driven by technology accompanied by tweaked business models. While most of the transformation has taken place in the B2B segment, the newer landscape doesn’t necessarily change the way students are and will continue to be placed through time-tested strategies.
Aggregators and AI are the buzzwords today that have generated enough attention from across the industry. In principle, an aggregator is an agent consisting of several smaller-scale agents that enable these businesses to place their students through the aggregators’ contract. To be clear, this model is by no means revolutionary. It has existed for decades but proliferated recently through the use of technology. While sub-agents benefit from an increased access to academic institutions often ignored are the students who happen to be the key stakeholders in this industry.
In a world of rapid innovation, the emergence of new careers and the transformation of existing ones have resulted in academic institutes engaging in an ever-evolving academic curriculum. Traditional programs are witnessing the incorporation of technology modules along with an overall rework to match newer and updated skills. The new world economy has rendered many expertise obsolete, ultimately making their relevant pre-requisite programs redundant. These are the important changes that newer developments in international student recruitment have perhaps failed to address to the most important stakeholders, the students.
Sub-agents, who ultimately comprise the aggregator, are generally characterized by smaller settings and limited know-how. Most are newbies who seek to prosper from the thriving international education market. Their recency in the marketplace along with the absence of direct communication with institutes throws doubt on their experience and questions their ability to successfully place students in the right programs. But should this really take us by surprise? Imagine yourself wanting to take a taxi to a specific location for a crucial meeting in the city. While you whistle to stop one (if you’re in New York), an individual pulls up in a yellow cab with his uncle’s driving license and an obvious heavy reliance on GPS to get you there. How likely are you to reach your destination on time and without a scratch? Now add a few reliable options at the onset, and you have, in essence, today’s scenario in international student recruitment. Except that now, technology is being embraced to proliferate this model even further.
Over the last 2 decades, Canam has successfully counselled millions of students. Over time, we have gained insights into students’ minds and perfected counselling to achieve high rates of student satisfaction and on-campus retention, resulting in improved graduation outcomes. Through iApply, Canam’s digital platform, we have been able to consolidate 4 million counselling hours to form a data-driven approach that is student-centric. Our technology has differed from the rest in one main principle- AI’s utilization to replicate the mind of a competent counsellor. Our ability in technology has enabled us to scale access to quality education across the interiors of regions and ensuring that student satisfaction is derived from matching profiles to the right programs.
Where majority players are focused on disrupting business models and eliminating competition through debatable practices, we are committed to leveraging technology so that our most important stakeholder, the student, triumphs. And that, over the longer term, is where we believe success in this industry lies.