What is the story behind the genesis of WorldGrad?
My background and the Co-founders background have been in education for the last 15 years, we started as consultants in education sector and in 2017 decided to start ‘Link Education’ focused on solutions and the pain points in online learning which was around student experience and the notion that online learning is mostly self-learning. We partnered with universities, to deliver fully online degree programs, we gradually built our credibility. We identified other challenges that were faced by students studying overseas like difficulty in adaptability to the new environment, not having a clarity between settling abroad and studying abroad, financial crunch etc. We focused on solving the two-fold problems faced by universities and students, that is the birth of The WorldGrad.
How is overseas education experience shaping lifestyle of students?
Our students always have had the ambition of going overseas, because ultimately, they want the overseas living experience. For this segment of students, full online course wouldn’t help; also getting part of their education overseas also help them with work Visa’s later in life. Ultimately, the benefits of learning on-campus cannot be compensated online; like social element, the physical element and the environmental of it cannot be replaced.
Which geographies are WorldGrad catering to at present?
We have expanded in quite few geographies, to start with, we have partners in Australia, campus universities in Dubai, we have partners in UK, and most recently we have few partners in United States as well.
How do you make the transitions from remote learning to campus learning seamless for students?
The transition is three-fold, one is academic transition, second is skill-transition and the third one is physical aspect of it. We help with the first two very well, it is all taken care by us. All academic transitions are preliminarily aligned and the skill-set is enhanced by giving them access to industry experts and resources. We already embed students at the online level only, be it access to resources, communications with faculty and making connections etc. We help the students orient best in all academic and non-academic front.
What are the non-academic support services that WorldGrad offers?
The support service starts when we first interact with family and students; there are roughly half-a-billion students that get qualified for an overseas university, but they face a lot of challenges so they end up dropping it. Our services start at counselling aspect; one of the major challenges in that is financial counselling. We invest a lot of time to be upfront with the families and educate them about if their finances match to send the students overseas. We also help them with other elements, like accommodation, orientation, etc.
What happens to the student’s academic calendar, in case university discontinues partnership with WorldGrad?
This was our first point of conversation with any potential partner; we made sure the university partners committed to the students even before the student committed to The WorldGrad. Therefore, even before the student starts with WorldGrad, the student holds an offer from that university for completion of their commitments; since it then becomes a confirmed offer, the university cannot take a step back on anything they offered to the student in the beginning. Irrespective of the relationship pf the university with WorldGrad, the university has to deliver what it had promised to the student because of legal compliances with the country’s government.
How does WorldGrad reach out to students for enrollment in overseas education programs?
As far as our students are concerned, we try and reach out to students directly through direct channels and generating in queries; we are also now trying to reach out to students via school networks. By the first week of August, we are planning school outreach campaign, to start educating school administrators and school counsellors about this option that they can share students.
What are the admission criteria and courses offered by the universities partnered with WorldGrad?
As far as the as the admission criteria is concerned, we align with the university’s admission requirement, but we make it a little easier for the student based on what the university has mandated. Some of our partners conduct their own tests, so the economic load of tests is reduced. In future, as per the candidate’s discretion, the candidate can take up standardized tests. From the academic front as well, the universities pre-define the terms for the students. As far the courses which are offered, most students are interested in the evergreen field of Business and Technology, but we also offer more courses like Finance, Cyber Security, Fintech, Mobile Computing and other specifications available. We are also focus on fields like Sports, Hotel Management, Event Management, Hospitality, Tourism, etc.
What other plans than outreach programs are being offered to students for counselling?
For the next academic cycle, class of 2022 essentially, we are taking a three-prompt approach; first one being to participate in overseas education fairs, virtual education fairs, etc so you would see us attending big fairs taking place through the year. The second route is to reach out school counsellors, admission counsellors, and career counsellors and spread awareness about this hybrid option. The third would be launching individual or group awareness sessions for parents and students. This will help students understand and be educated better.
Is WorldGrad focusing on adding off-beat geographies to their portfolio, that actually are more economical?
By the end of this year, we will have at least 20 partnerships including some off-beat geographies such as Singapore, which has great quality education there, we are looking forward to put that on our map. We are planning to increase our presence in Europe, so we are in conversation with European institutions for programs. Canada is something which is currently missing in our portfolio, which we are eager to add. And US is just the tip of the ice-berg, we are just familiar with a few of them, and there are still many quality institutions that we are looking ahead towards to partner with. We are planning to bring out partnerships which are quality but are economical for the students.