As a company, we are continuously seeking to improve how we support prospective students. Part of this goal involves developing new technologies to better serve students in their online searches and equipping our education counsellors with the right tools to guide the students they work with. Ultimately, we strive to give students the best support possible, both digitally and in person.
We recently interviewed Kei Lye Wong, an IDP Education Counsellor based in Malaysia, to learn more about how IDP is bridging its new cutting-edge technology with trusted human interactions to better support prospective students.
Kei Lye is a passionate student counsellor who cares deeply about the wellbeing of her students. She not only supports them in finding best-fit institutions, but often stays in contact once they are placed at an institution to ensure they settle in well. She specialises in counselling prospective students in Malaysia interested in pursuing higher education opportunities in the UK.
Some of the key themes covered in the interview include:
How the IDP Live app enables prospective students to easily track, filter and compare study abroad options
How counsellors are using IDP’s new recommendation engine to match student interests to best-fit institutions
How counsellors are using Student 360 to gain a more holistic insight into prospective student preferences, enabling better and more informed conversations
Watch the full video:
How have the latest updates, the recommendation engine and Student 360 helped you to have better and enriched conversations with students?
The recommendation engine is like a search engine for the programmes and universities IDP represents. Student 360 is a tool that provides counsellors with a summary of the application process of the student throughout the whole journey. I particularly like the recommendation engine, because it’s very convenient when I’m at a stage of exploring options with students – it provides me with information such as which universities provide what courses and how much tuition fees are, almost immediately in a few clicks.
As a counsellor, how do you build trust with students?
My very first principle is to always be careful with what I say, how I convey a message and the accuracy of the information that I give. I never give ambiguous information or misleading messages to students… I try my best to think from their perspectives and when I’m handling personal documents, I always ensure that they are happy for me to do so.
When students favour a course in the IDP Live app, we can see the updates immediately. From there, I can see which programmes the student likes and I can make appropriate suggestions for them. It is from this point, that the student feels we really care for and understand them. This is a another key way we build trust with students.
Why is it important to match students to an institution that meets their key needs?
I believe one of the reasons students use our services is because they are feeling overwhelmed with whatever is available. The destination will be a place where students will live for 3 or 4 years, most possibly without their families. It is a turning point in their lives, which can determine how their lives turn out. We have to be cautious, as we are making life decisions for them. It’s very important to match them to an institution that meets their needs… We want students to know that every service is tailored to their needs.
How does IDP’s latest technology, which leverages the world’s largest database of researching prospective students, help you to guide students to best-fit institutions and how does it enhance the student’s experience?
I want to give credit to the recommendation engine. It allows you to add filters such as tuition fees, budget and ranking, then from there it will show only programmes that are most suitable for the student. This saves us a lot of time. The waiting time for students is now much shorter and I can see that my students are happy because of the convenience. The process of research and exploring is really easily done on their smartphone now.
How do you as a counsellor fit into IDP’s full-funnel support of students, starting from their initial research all the way through to enrolment?
I try to help as much as possible. Apart from the professional service that we are trained to provide, I also keep in touch with my students once they’ve been placed at a university. I previously also studied in the UK, so I’m experienced with living in the UK. My students will text me with sometimes trivial questions such as what supermarkets are available in the UK – I always try to help. I think this really aligns with IDP’s values of community and caring.
Sometimes they come to me with other questions – I’m truly happy about it, because I know they trust my service and my views. I think this is because of the professionalism we demonstrate and they truly feel how much we care and that we’re here for them, not just commercially.
How has the coming together of IDP’s technology and the human interaction of counselling improved the experience for students?
Our customers, our students want to feel they are cared for and prioritised. Student 360 provides a summary of the whole application process of the student in a lot of detail. When a student receives an offer from a university, we are always the first to know and will convey the message. They can also see it on the app. I think it’s from here that they feel cared for and prioritised, we make them feel like VIP. I think that’s the benefit of IDP’s latest technology, it’s really useful and it’s working. Its efficacy can be seen from the student’s satisfaction. Students are really impressed by us, I would say in this industry we are really one of a kind in using this type of technology.
What are the most important ingredients for counselling students successfully?
Accuracy, confidence and care. I always provide and handle information with the utmost accuracy. Secondly, talk to your students confidently. You want your students to know that you are professional. Care genuinely for your students and see things from their perspective. This is human interaction counselling, it really involves elements like care and feelings. Be a mentor to them, not just an agent or counsellor.
How does the Study Abroad app compliment and support your role as a counsellor?
It’s like an assistant to me. We deal with so many leads and applications every year. Before the Study Abroad app existed, we had to update students one by one. It took a lot of time. It took a long time for us to feed back to students. It’s important that they can all feel prioritised. With the IDP Live app, we’ve made this come true – they feel prioritised and can see the status of their application immediately. They no longer need to wait for a message on their status. The app also has a lot of information about studying in the UK and Ireland, so over weekends students can do independent research.
To find out more about IDP’s student counselling services, the IDP Live app and our latest technologies, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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