Author’s Blurb: Surely, most of us would remember a time when we were college hunting. Going to uni fairs with our parents, collecting brochures, talking to student ambassadors and counsellors about what and where to dedicate the next 3 to 4 years of our study lives to. It was a tiring process and I would usually only end up talking to the popular institutions.
The way Rickson sees it, one big challenge in the uni enrollment process is how it’s still mostly based offline.
Another is that most students tend to make their decisions on what’s most convenient to them.
Financially, it affects parents as students aren’t usually aware of the budget required for their options, causing them to feel lost and unsure of how to start their search.
“The decision on what and where to study is mostly driven by subjective reasons such as recommendations from teachers, friends, and family, offline appointed university agents who represent a handful of institutions, or merely choosing the most popular or known brand,” he said.
Uni Enrol was thus launched to overcome this.
It’s an end-to-end digital enrollment service to include research, counselling, virtual campus touring and online enrolment through the platform itself.
Digitising College Fairs
When a student completes a short questionnaire on their education and curriculum history, Uni Enrol will match them with suitable in Malaysia universities, courses and scholarships based on their preferences.
“For instance, one of our most popular tools is Pathway Match. It’s able to comb through 4,000 courses’ entry requirements and 300 types of scholarship eligibility from over 60 universities and companies that we work with without any human interactions,” explained Rickson.
They differ from other university listing and comparison sites like Edu Advisor and Study Route by putting an emphasis on finding scholarships to match a student’s eligibility.
This is because these decisions need to be financially feasible for them and their parents.
“Scholarships are one of the key areas of focus to ensure more students are making decisions based on what is best for them from the employability perspective and not just affordability,” he said.
By doing so, the company aims to reduce cases where students have to forgo their first choice even though it’s a better one in the case of budget shortfalls.
They Just Keep Giving
Since launching in January 2018, the team has provided students with scholarships that total to RM20 million in worth.
Uni Enrol sources scholarship fundings from three main sources:
- Universities: Scholarships from universities are informed and updated by them. Uni Enrol merely acts as a place to promote and match the opportunities to eligible students based on results and financial background provided to the platform.
- Government & Corporate: The Uni Enrol team pitches to government agencies and companies that have CSR and marketing funds. Uni Enrol focuses on encouraging them to assign the fund based on household income, personal achievements, and other underprivileged conditions such as single parents or handicapped students.
- High net worth individuals: Similar to the former, it’s based on a case-by-case discussion with the Uni Enrol team.
These funders can benefit from giving out scholarships as they view students as potential customers and even potential hirees in the future, according to Rickson.
To help out with a student’s financials even more, Uni Enrol gives out RM300 bursaries to students who enrol through their platform.
“We also offer laptop sponsorship up to RM2,000, full or partial accommodation sponsorship up to 1 year, transportation sponsorships like busses and flights depending on availability,” he added.
The platform is able to afford all this from monetising through success fees when students apply to their chosen universities on their website. That amount earned equates to 10% of a student’s first-year tuition fee.
Traffic Tripled During The MCO
Adoption of an end-to-end digital approach of higher education enrollment is still a new experience for most students and parents.
Many are used to going for education events, meeting counsellors face-to-face and visiting campus grounds.
But the team is hopeful this will become the norm, and even more so due to the pandemic.
“Nevertheless, with the digitisation of many services such as e-commerce, banking and transportation, it has definitely opened up the acceptance for online interaction and overall trust by students and parents,” he shared.
With students being forced into virtual classes nationwide and globally, you might think that high school graduates won’t be looking to apply for universities right now.
On the contrary, traffic actually spiked for Uni Enrol throughout the whole of MCO. In fact, Rickson said that it increased more than 3 times.
“Although class intakes were delayed, it also worked in our favour as there was more research and decision making time for students and parents,” he shared.
“Furthermore, we developed sophisticated online tools and utilised our trial and tested processes for online engagement purposes that enabled us to tackle the extreme behaviour shift when the pandemic came.”
As of today, the team has contributed over RM50 million in tuition fees to partner institutions.
He also shared that their revenue is on track to grow 100% this year.
“Currently, we have over 70 universities listed on Uni Enrol. Though mostly private institutions, 5 of them are government linked,” he said.
The team has plans to include public universities on their platform too, and that there are several already coming onboard in the next few months.
Bottom Line: It would be great to see them include every higher education institution on their platform, with no limitations whether public or private. Even better would be when they manage to include international ones too.
Featured Image Credit: Uni Enrol