Ucas has partnered with Edtech start-up Unibuddy to digitally connect undergraduate applicants to current students at universities and colleges across the UK. The partnership provides a unique opportunity for higher education providers to engage with applicants as soon as they start exploring their options through the admissions service’s website.
Following a successful pilot with several universities in July 2019, the service goes live in November when Unibuddy is embedded into ucas.com. Providers that participate through Ucas will have the opportunity to connect with around 700,000 applicants each year – from initial research, through to acceptance and enrolment.
The Ucas and Unibuddy partnership offers a free and easy way for students to ask questions
Insight from Ucas surveys suggests nearly three quarters of students would have found visiting more universities useful when researching their choices. With travel costs and time cited as the most common reasons preventing open day attendance, the Ucas and Unibuddy partnership offers a free and easy way for students to ask questions to the ambassadors they would meet on campus at an event. Student reviews are also consistently rated as one of the most important determining factors for applicants deciding where to apply.
As numbers of international students coming to the UK continue to grow, the service enables applicants who live abroad to make links with existing students, to obtain reassuring answers to key questions by like-minded learners already in the UK. 64% of students said the ability to connect with other international students influences their university decision (QS International Survey 2018).
Ucas chief executive Clare Marchant said: “The Ucas and Unibuddy partnership opens a new digital door for all applicants to what life is really like at universities and colleges across the UK. Following the launch of our new Hub in September, this is another key step of Ucas’s journey to provide all students with personalised information and advice through our website to make informed decisions.
“Working collaboratively with partners in education and technology enables Ucas to efficiently deliver enhancements benefitting students, their teachers and universities. Embedding Unibuddy into the Ucas website will give universities and colleges an earlier direct route to engage with students, and give those exploring their options an insight into their future.”
CEO of Unibuddy, Diego Fanara, commented on the partnership: “Our individual relationships with almost 200 universities in 27 countries worldwide has allowed 77,000 students from over 180 countries to make better decisions about their higher education. From questions about the social scene and moving away from home, to how easy it is to make friends, every prospective student will have specific concerns that only existing learners, on the ground, can address.
Our partnership with Ucas further democratises the application process for students and provides an immense data learning opportunity for universities via millions of conversations through the service.”