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Education experts joined the Victorian Global EdTech & Innovation Expo recently to discuss the future of education technology with many questions, inlcuding 'how is the traditional recruitment and learning experience being transformed since the pandemic?'

The year of 2020 was the year of ‘pivoting’ or for a better word, scrambling. Institutions had to adapt their ways of recruiting students, delivering courses and ensuring connectivity through finding and implementing online solutions.

As we come out of this situation, universities need to look at ways they can continue to do more with inevitably less.

Quality hybrid models in education system are crucial for the student experience – in particular, an omnichannel experience that is equal across the board, making digital experiences fundamentally better and more consistent

While online has made it easier for students to access their education, for international students outside of their study country, they want the full experience of going overseas to study at a university and experience a new culture – so while they are becoming more willing to do online learning for a period of time given the current situation with COVID-19, they expect to be able to enter their study destination in the near future

Our International Student Crossroads research has also shown that overtime international students have become willing to quarantine and take on the burden of the financial cost, so that their dreams can be realised.

IDP Connect Crossroads research has also shown that countries that have kept their doors open have benefited from the situation and the last study showed students are considering changing destinations in order to study on-campus sooner.

Tech solutions are likely to stay post-COVID, as long as the digital experiences evolve – for events for example, how can an institution make a great digital experience as opposed to recreating a live event.

However, despite the technological advances we have seen in the sector, there is a real need for human connection – we need to build on what tech is good at and marry this with human connection. This is where the IDP Study Abroad app comes in.

Since its launch in June 2020, the app has been placing IDP in the pockets of prospective students, giving them the ability to easily track, filter and compare the study abroad options available to them.

With close to 200,000 downloads, and an average rating of 4 stars across Android and iOS, the app has brought trusted human connections, through IDP counsellors, along with institutions, to support students on their research journey.

Neil Pearson, IDP’s Chief Digital Marketing Officer, said the IDP Study Abroad app was developed in response to student feedback.

"Key points made by students in our research centred around the desire to know the status of their application and having improved access to accurate or helpful information.  In response to that, we focused the app on giving real-time application status updates and contextual advice and guidance from students and counsellors specific to the stage of their journey," said Neil.

“What makes the app so exceptional is that it connects our community of expert counsellors and institutions together to assist the student on their journey.  It’s our expert education counsellors who underpin students researching on our app - they are there to support our students every step of the way at the click of a button.

"The app is like having IDP in your pocket, connecting our students to global opportunities wherever they are in the world and wherever they are in their journey.”

The app allows prospective students to access counsellor updates, find local counselling offices, track application statuses in real-time and receive ongoing guidance and support. Additional features include personalised course and institution recommendations, personalised advice, an up-to-date overview of where a user is in their application journey, notifications to changes in applications, and videos and advice directly from institutions.

Neil added: “Based on a student’s browsing history and profile, we are able to accurately target courses for them that will connect them to success.  The app supports students through that journey by tracking their application status and giving them the right advice at the right stage of their journey, whether that’s about relative cost, the student experience, or necessary entry requirements.

"However, we understand that students need more than artificial intelligence and robots.  The app is not just about tech, it’s about bringing students closer to our expert counsellors and renowned institutions by being able to engage on one platform.”

The app comes populated with articles and stories of interest to prospective students. Tracking the popularity of this content offers key data on student concerns, motivations and the information they are looking for.

Some of the most read articles on the app in January 2021 included: enrolling to study abroad in 2021 during COVID-19, navigating scholarships and funding options, writing statements of purpose, preparing for IELTS and Canadian student visa requirements. These articles are drawn from IDP’s suite of student-facing websites, thereby ensuring top quality content created by expert regional editors.

Amit Chaturvedi, IDP’s Associate Director for UK and New Zealand (South Asia), believes that the app’s unique selling point is the fact that it provides prospective students with up-to-date answers to their questions, while also encouraging more in-depth research of institutions and destinations.

Amit says the app is also proving to be a powerful resource for student counsellors: “The app has given us an additional tool with which to guide and support prospective students. It has enabled our counsellors to work with prospective students who may at first be reluctant to discuss their concerns over a virtual call – through the app, we are building greater levels of trust between our network of counsellors and prospective students.”

Thus far, the countries and regions that have seen the highest overall numbers of app installations have been India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Middle East. It has been rolled out successfully across all key source markets including North Asia, South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Latest updates show that in February 2021, Malaysia, Cambodia and Egypt saw the highest numbers of app downloads, Indonesia had the highest number of active users and India had the highest number of new users at 7,688.

Institutions can showcase their content to a highly engaged audience of prospective students on a trusted platform supported by expert student counsellors around the world. An added benefit to IDP Core Partners is having their content automatically showcased at key touch points across the app to increase their brand awareness and ultimately boost enrolment rates.

As a successful addition to a vast global network of IDP student-facing products and services, the IDP Study Abroad further helps to connect prospective students to the right institution for them.

Contact our client team to find out how you can have your institution featured on the IDP Study Abroad App.

Sophie Tudor11 April 2021