“Proodle Launches App For International Student Enrolment”

Proodle launches app for international student enrolment

Proodle Solutions has launched an app for university enrolment that it claims will transform the international student enrolment experience for both higher education marketing and recruitment teams.

Launched in 2017, Proodle Solutions is comprised of an international team who faced many problems when they applied to study in the UK.

These problems included a lack of personalisation in marketing materials, slow communication with recruitment teams and difficulty in finding information.

Importantly, they felt the universities’ lack of digital mobile presences hindered them from establishing a meaningful, ongoing connection.

Proodle university enrolment app solves the current problem for both students and HEIs

Shrenik Paras Parmar, CEO of Proodle Solutions, acknowledged that the current generation of students are digital natives and therefore the logical solution was to build a mobile platform to maximise their satisfaction with the university enrolment process.

The app is designed to allow universities to stand out as the best institution in a highly saturated market.

Parmar explained: “Universities in the UK and abroad only provide a website as an official channel to their prospective students for their entire enrolment process.

“I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could build a unique app that would allow any university to tap into the world of technology that students are familiar with, achieve their enrolment objectives with higher conversion rates and stand out as the best institution in a highly competitive market.”

Proodle app offers real-time updates instead of dated email communication

The Proodle app allows universities to personalise messaging, analyse user behaviour and update content in real-time.

This allows the universities to reshape their entire relationship with prospects through optimising their enrolment experience and increasing satisfaction levels like never before.

Parmar added: “Other online recruitment platforms either act as a marketplace or provide SAAS solutions that are used by university professionals and still communicate through emails.”

“We haven’t come across a single platform that offers a holistic enrolment approach, and that provides and official university platform for students to interact, engage, apply and enrol.”

Pic: Proodle

Kate Frazer - Global Education Times (GET News)
Kate Frazer

Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
You can reach her at: [email protected]

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admin September 16, 2019 0 Comments

“App aims to simplify uni applications”

App aims to simplify uni applications

Posted on Aug 28, 2019 by Viggo Stacey

About Viggo Stacey
Viggo has previously worked in teaching in Germany and Turkey, until his change of career in 2017. Known as ‘Sitting-Vig’ to his friends, in his free time he is normally watching a film as he attempts to watch more films than anyone else.


“A UK-based mobile app Proodle Solutions is seeking to simplify the university application process for international students, which the company says will benefit both institutions and the digital natives searching for study options.

 

The app allows universities to showcase course and accommodation options, and city information

 

Proodle Solutions, set up by former international student Shrenik Paras Parmar in 2017, allows universities to showcase course and accommodation options, and city information, in one location.

“We haven’t come across a single platform that offers a holistic enrolment approach”

Parmar was inspired following his own experience of being let down by an agent who had promised a quick and easy enrolment process.

 

“Having gone through the international student enrolment process myself, I saw an opportunity to enhance the engagement and enrolment experience for the current generation of digital natives while planning to study abroad,” he said.

 

With the explosion of digital technology and the personalisation of services delivered through smartphones, Parmar hopes the app will allow any university to tap into the world of technology that students are familiar with.

 

“Universities in the UK and abroad only provide a website as an official channel to their prospective students for their entire enrolment process,” he explained.

 

The app allows universities to “achieve their enrolment objectives with higher conversion rates and stand out as the best institution in a highly competitive market”, Parmar added.

 

“Proodle Solutions’ software as a service product will be entirely branded to individual universities, who will then promote the app to its prospective students as an official university app.

 

“[Its] app manager is built for the sole purpose to attract, engage and convert the next generation of students through the mobile app only,” he told The PIE News.

 

Initial UK universities showing in the interest in the product have selected the Indian market for a trial period and would gradually extend the services to other country markets, Parmar noted.

 

“Other online recruitment platforms either act as a marketplace or provide SAAS solutions that are used by university professionals and still communicate through emails,” he said.

 

“We haven’t come across a single platform that offers a holistic enrolment approach, and that provides an official university platform for students to interact, engage, apply and enrol.”

 

Using tools to personalise messaging, analysing user behaviour and updating content in real-time, universities will be able to reshape their entire relationship with prospects through optimising their enrolment experience, according to the company.

 

“Currently, Proodle Solutions is in the negotiation stage with the chief marketing officers of three Russell Group universities, who are interested in piloting the product to enhance their international student recruitment efforts,” a spokesperson told The PIE.

 

With ongoing support from the Ingenuity Lab at the University of Nottingham, Proodle is hoping to expand domestically and internationally.

 

“The company has recruited a team of top-quality professionals to enhance the product development and marketing activities in the UK and in India,” the spokesperson added.”

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admin September 5, 2019 0 Comments

-- Reposted from University of Nottingham

“New mobile app will help universities reduce carbon footprint and recruit the brightest students”

Background ShrenikParasParmar

Proodle Solutions Limited provides mobile applications to attract, engage and convert the next generation of highly qualified students to study at university.

The company’s CEO, Shrenik Paras Parmar, used his own experience as an international student as the starting point to establish the company, with the aim of benefitting both students in their journey through the application process, and university marketing and recruitment teams in meeting strategic goals.

Opportunity

Globally there is an increasing need to reduce emissions.  In particular, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol provides requirements and guidance for companies and other organisations preparing a corporate-level emissions inventory. Many higher education institutions do not yet have effective carbon management strategies in place to take into account the increase in international travel by professionals in marketing and recruitment departments and potential students travelling to determine their choice of place of study. This creates tensions between core business needs and environmental targets.

Shrenik realised support through Energy for Business, a University of Nottingham EU funded project delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team, could help Proodle take the next step in the development of their unique mobile application, built to address this problem.

Solution

The team arranged for postgraduate student Charlie Day, to work with Proodle in the development of the new mobile application. This would deliver university-specific information personalised to the needs of the prospective students during the pre-arrival and decision making phases and would reduce the need for travel, providing a unique solution to attract, engage and convert international students while addressing strategic carbon management goals. Charlie’s MSc in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence made him the ideal candidate for the role, which consisted of using react native technologies to build a high-performance iOS and Android app with an accessible user interface.

Benefits

By using Proodle’s mobile application, universities can showcase course options, accommodation types and city information from one centralised location. In turn, international students can access rich information about institutions abroad without having to travel, with an experience that provides a satisfying alternative for an actual visit to the university.

This solution has the potential to generate considerable carbon savings by removing the need for marketing teams and potential students to travel during the recruitment process. They can now access the information they need without even having to move from their seats.

Find out more about Proodle Solutions

 

ProodleTeam_sm

The Proodle team. L-R: Rawan Abu-Ishira, Shrenik Paras Parmar, Kiran Athwal, Xi Zhang, Charlie Day

Support

Proodle Solutions received support from the University as part of Energy for Business. Delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

UoN-ERDF

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admin July 16, 2019 0 Comments

-- Reposted from Blog Post UoN Blogs / Inside The Ingenuity Lab

“Proodle’s Story: Our last six months”


“The road to success is always under construction”Lily Tomlin

It’s no hidden secret that building a business is incredibly hard work, and no one knows this more so than the businesses that tirelessly create, build and develop their innovations at the Ingenuity Lab.

We’ve had some great news from one of our Ingenuity Lab businesses, Proodle Solutions, recently. We caught up with them to see how their hard work, drive and commitment was paying off…


“In the recent months, we at Proodle Solutions have been delighted by the progress that has been made in both the development of our product and the recognition we have received by respected bodies.

Having gone through the international student enrolment process myself, I saw an opportunity to enhance the application experience for the current generation of digital natives by building a unique mobile application which allows universities to make their mark and stand out as the best institution in a highly saturated market. Using tools to personalise messaging, analyse user behaviour and update content in real-time, universities can reshape their entire relationship with prospects through optimising their enrolment experience and increasing satisfaction levels like never before.

Last month, we were thrilled to have won three major awards at the Ingenuity19 Competition: the Santander Enterprise Award, the Experian Commercial Potential Prize, and the Sainsbury Management Fellows Award. These awards recognise businesses that demonstrate the most potential, aim to create significant commercial impact and have produced innovative engineering solutions.

Steven Chapman, Ingenuity Event Director, states, “We have been delighted by the progress of Proodle within the event and proud that one of the businesses that we have work with over the past few years has been recognised for their innovation and hard work.  We are keen to take them on the next stage of their journey and expect great success.”

In addition to the winning these prestigious awards, we have had the good fortune of having a team of successful entrepreneurs, such as Alan Morris, the co-founder of Retail Assist Limited, and Mujeeb Rahman, the Director of SIRIO Business Transformation, advising us on effective growth strategies. Most recently, Proodle Solutions has established connections with the esteemed Sir John Peace, the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

Currently, Proodle Solutions is in the negotiation stage with the Chief Marketing Officers of three Russell Group Universities, who are interested in piloting the product to enhance their international student recruitment efforts. We have continued to attract the interest of senior management teams of higher education institutions with two other top-tier universities recently expressing an interest to work with the company.

It is with the support of the Ingenuity Lab at the University of Nottingham that we have managed to come so far with our product and grow a team of tenacious professionals who are enthusiastic about the same vision that brought Proodle Solutions into existence.

If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159. Alternatively, visit our recently updated website at www.proodlesolutions.com to find more information.”


July 1, 2019, by The Ingenuity Lab

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admin July 14, 2019 0 Comments

-- Reposted from D2H2 Growth Hub Network

“Digital Start-Up Proodle Solutions Earn a Triple Win at the Ingenuity19 Competition”

Proodle Solutions, a start-up digital business that has built a unique platform to boost universities’ international student recruitment efforts, scooped three major awards at the Ingenuity19 Competition worth £9,500: the Santander Enterprise Award, the Experian Commercial Potential Prize, and the Sainsbury Management Fellows Award.

 

Proodle Solutions competed against 750 other applicants to win these prestigious awards, for which a £150k+ prize fund was allocated. These awards recognise businesses that demonstrate the most potential, aim to create significant commercial impact and have produced innovative engineering solutions.

 

The Ingenuity Event Launched in 2015 and having established itself as one of Europe’s largest entrepreneurship competitions, Ingenuity19 has now become an integral part of the University of Nottingham’s civic agenda. The event is designed to discover and support a generation of social and commercial innovators in the UK and beyond.

 

Proodle’s team is comprised of specialists working across the UK and India, with MBAs from the University of Nottingham and over six years of experience working in professional environments. The team is led by CEO Shrenik Paras Parmar.

 

“Ingenuity19 has opened the doors for Proodle Solutions and has provided us with brand recognition and credibility to really add value to our business. It’s the sum up of all of the components of the programme – Summits, Develop, Pitches and Networking – that has redefined the way we aim to achieve our goals. Winning these three prestigious awards will help us strengthen our value proposition, and the cash prizes will help us facilitate our pilot trials with early adopters much more smoothly. We are very grateful for the support received by Ingenuity19.” – Shrenik Paras Parmar, CEO of Proodle Solutions Limited.

 

Steven Chapman, the Head of the Ingenuity Lab, commended the team’s efforts, stating, “We have been delighted by the progress of Proodle within the event and proud that one of the businesses that we have worked with over the past few years has been recognised for their innovation and hard work. We are keen to take them on the next stage of their journey and expect great success.”

 

The team aspires to help universities to stand out in the increasingly competitive higher education environment and drive international student recruitment targets through informed decisions. Proodle offers an innovative and secure personalised mobile platform which facilitates direct communication between universities and prospective students, fostering confidence in the application process.

 

This is not the first time the company has been acclaimed by the Ingenuity Event. In March 2018, Proodle was one of the top winners at the Ingenuity18 Competition where they received the Asia Business Award and Enterprise Award worth £9,000. In addition, Proodle has been recognised globally too, winning the Entrepreneurial Visa Award at the 2018 Ingenuity International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in China.

 

“I am delighted but not surprised to see Proodle collect these well-deserved accolades. They show that student entrepreneurs are in a unique position to develop and deliver innovative digital services to allow universities to compete globally.” – Professor Simon Mosey, Director Haydn Green Institute.

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admin June 20, 2019 0 Comments

HEI Challenges in the International Student Market – Part (2)

In the first part of this blog, we have seen the effect of post-study work visa for international students regulations on decreasing the motivation for students for selecting the UK as their studying abroad destination, but instead going to Canada or Germany. In part 2 we will highlight additional issues that make the journey a bit harder for higher education institutions in the UK.

Lack of Governmental Support

One of the main challenges that HEI face is the lack of support from the government. More than 70% of respondents of a survey that has been sent to business schools and international offices across the UK definitely or mostly agree that the support that higher education institutions get in other countries by their governments has made them more attractive to international students. They emphasized the fact that third-party organisations (e.g. British Council) are key to stronger international student recruitment to the UK. The intensity and global nature of the competition for international students mean that few institutions have the resources to do everything they wish when marketing internationally. Although the presence of third-party companies plays a significant role in expanding the overall reputation of a country, a great deal can still be done by universities themselves.

Economic Constraints

The economic and political situation of the UK in the past three years have affected the value of the pound, which was good for students at some point due to lower conversion rates. But, as it increases, it puts a financial burden on students to come study abroad since this change can almost double the amount of money that has to be paid to universities by some students in some countries. That can cause a problem since recruiting International students is crucial for the survival of universities, as they generate the highest revenue due to increased fees in comparison to domestic students.

Market Competition and Recruitment Process

Competition is intensifying with more students able to choose internationally recognised schools in their home countries, often teaching in English at a lower cost than in the UK, and with more recruiters on campus who can offer them work in their home country. Students from outside Asia may also decide that rapidly developing economies in Asia, make studying in Asia an attractive proposition for their future career prospects.

While agents can undoubtedly fulfil an important role, such relationships need careful management and strong engagement to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the business school’s offer. Overseas agents are also being increasingly used by a wider range of schools in different countries. Consequently, one agent may be acting on behalf of a number of institutions from a single country or multiple countries. For just under a quarter of the schools responding to the survey, agents fees have risen in the past three years while none report a decrease.

Partnerships for growth

The growth of partnerships as a source of international students has also been important for British business schools in recent years. For some schools this has meant double degree or joint degree programmes, but for many partnerships have taken a different route. Just under 80% definitely or mostly agree that ‘Partnerships with other institutions for 2+2 or 3+1 degree programmes are important sources of international students for our school’, while nearly half also agree that ‘Partnerships with private providers (e.g. INTO) brings us a strong pipeline of international students’. Business schools responding to the survey identified two particular areas where more work was required in international student recruitment. Just short of 90% definitely or mostly agreed that ‘We need to do more work to effectively target international students’ and just over 90% agreed that ‘Greater involvement of our global alumni would help us recruit more international students’.

Source: https://charteredabs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chartered-ABS-International-Student-Recruitment-2016.pdf

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admin August 8, 2018 0 Comments

HEI Challenges in the International Student Market – Part (1)

The world has witnessed an exponential growth in science and technology in the past 20 years and information is getting transferred in real-time with just a click of a button from virtually anywhere. This growth has accelerated social development and increased the human thirst for knowledge. University education has become a priority for those who want to have wider access to information and enhance their career prospects as the labour market is constantly striving to reduce unemployability rates in line with the growth of skills  needed to fulfil a certain job. This has pushed people, especially those in developing countries, to go for higher education degrees especially.

The UK has one the highest numbers of international students in the world, with almost half a million students arriving every year. Higher education institutions are constantly pushing major efforts to maximise student satisfaction levels to retain and increase this number as they contribute significant funds to university budgets.

International students who come to study in the UK have one of the highest satisfaction levels in the world throughout their studying journey. They acquire a great degree and unique skill sets that distinguish them in a competitive job market in their respective home countries. On the other hand, some choose to seek employment abroad (at the destination of study) and this is one of the main constraints that the UK HEI is failing to provide, while other international students study at destinations that offer a more complete package.

Why HEI fails to satisfy student postgraduate needs?

According to the Chartered Association of Business School’s report on “UK Business schools and International student recruitment in 2016”, the visa regulations for international students seeking to work in the UK after graduation has been tightened as of March 2016. Key features of this policy included the introduction of requirements for international graduates to find an employer within four months of graduation that is willing to offer them a graduate job with a salary of at least £20,500 and provide visa sponsorship. Students who want to set up a business in the UK can apply for a ‘Graduate Entrepreneur’ visa and will need their university to ‘sponsor’ them. The Government also toughened up the rules on English language competence, insisting students have an upper intermediate level of English. Evidence shows this policy, and how it is perceived by prospective students abroad, is having a negative impact on business schools’ ability to recruit international students. Coupled with increased competition for international students from institutions abroad the decline in non-EU students also has a detrimental effect on university finances and the regional economies around them.

Over 90% definitely or mostly agree that ‘Changes to post-study work visa availability has had a negative impact on international student recruitment’. Nearly 90% also definitely or mostly agree that ‘Reporting of government policy has had a negative impact on international student recruitment’. Visa issues are further highlighted by 80% of business schools, which definitely or mostly agree that ‘Processing student visa applications by UK authorities has had a negative impact on international student recruitment’.

However, it is not just post-study work visa issues that were highlighted as making international student recruitment more difficult. Changes in visa rules at short notice and without the adequate detail of the changes have made have further complicated recruitment. Allowable visa application refusal rates falling to a maximum of 10% have also made the recruitment process more difficult, with fears that a further tightening may be considered. Some suggested that rules were also applied differently depending on the institution to which a candidate was applying.

The loss of international graduates working in the UK economy produces a potential reduction in growth. International students working in the UK contribute directly in terms of the taxes they pay and the spending they undertake, but potentially more significantly they help British business to grow markets, especially in their country of origin.

Source: https://charteredabs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chartered-ABS-International-Student-Recruitment-2016.pdf

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admin July 26, 2018 0 Comments

Interview with an International Student: Challenges International Students Face During their Enrolment Journey

The UK is a home for almost 450,000 of international students, who come every year looking for a world class education, aiming to build an outstanding career path, and creating memories that will last forever. This is all great, and it’s true that the UK students have one of the highest satisfaction levels in the world, yet they don’t have the same levels when it comes to the application stage.

We have interviewed Afraz Hussain, who is an international student, originally from Dubai, to learn more about his enquirer experience prior to his enrolment at the University of Nottingham.

Question: Why did you decide to choose the UK as your studying abroad destination?

Afraz: The UK offers world class education; the qualifications awarded are widely recognised due to the high standards they set when it comes to achieving your degree. On the other side, language was an important factor which you acquire not only throughout the studies but also by the continuous interactions with different kinds of people from across the world, adding an interesting learning experience that changed my perception towards a lot of things forever.

Question: What were the challenges you faced when you applied to study in the UK?

Afraz: The major challenges that I faced when I was applying is the shortlisting of the universities that I wanted to apply to. I was constantly doing research on the rankings and looking up important facts and figures to come up with an informed decision. I also visited one the UK universities’ fair to get access to country-specific information. At the fair, I met a large number of universities which provided loads of brochures about the different programmes yet they failed to provide the information needed because it was too much to process, especially when you are holding 50 of them to view.

The second challenge was the application process, as I wanted to understand more about specific universities’ application processes, such as the entry requirements since all the information that I found online were UK specific. For example, as a student coming from Dubai, a 2:1 didn’t make any sense to me because of the difference in the grading system. This forced me to trouble the universities with non-stop calls and emails which wasn’t that great of a help as the ratio of response was 3:1 with a 3-5 working days response time that made me highly frustrated because everything was taking forever to be understood.

I also wanted to apply for a scholarship, but I didn’t know which scholarships I was eligible for. There was no clear timeline or requirements as I felt that all the information was very generic which resulted in applying for a student loan.

The last challenge that I think is crucial for every student is the tracking of the application, as the entire process wasn’t clear which made me think that I wouldn’t make it because I was short in time. When I finally received the offer I was highly confused as I received emails about conditional and unconditional offers (which I had no idea what they were) and how to apply for UCAS. I was receiving random emails reminding me to apply when I am an offer holder, so the lack of personalisation was an absolute headache.

Lastly, at the fair and through several marketing campaigns, we had been informed that we have an advisor in Dubai that will be contacting us to meet with us to solve any pending queries and that never happened. I didn’t get notified about the events around me that would have made my life way easier; but at the end day, I made it!

Question: How do you think universities could do better?

Afraz: To be honest, the only reason I shortlisted Nottingham was because they were one of the few that responded to my enquiry which motivated to apply, so I think universities have to be quick to respond as it does affect your decision big time.

In my opinion, the availability of a platform that facilitates direct contact with prospective students would be great, where they explain country-specific entry requirements and advertise relevant events. This would offer great added value in the decision making process. A mobile app is the best solution where we can be prompted with news and updates on our application and the next steps that we should take.

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admin July 5, 2018 0 Comments

Digital Influence Overcoming Conversion and Outreach Problems

Competition in higher education recruitment is at its peak and universities struggle to provide a high quality, personalised service for increasingly tech-savvy prospective students in their crucial decision-making journey. Marketing and recruitment departments continue to generate warm leads at fairs through advisors, staff, alumni, working with agents, and online advertising. Universities and colleges currently lose up to 70% of their applicants, and significant staff time and effort is spent making sure every prospect and their parents have all the information they need to make a well-informed decision.

The Era of Speed

Mobile delivery of services has become an expectation of progressive higher education institutions, and the old regime of traditional advertising is fading as millennials focus on experiences and interactivity over hard sells. Millennials are digital natives and multitasking is a natural flair, having grown up with a level of technological literacy that’s relatively new to the market (Forbes, 2017). Prospective students have the “I want an answer now” mentality, so it’s imperative that we reach out when the interest is at its peak, and that time is now.

The number of international students recruited by British universities has seen a steady decline in enrolment ratios from application to entry due to various internal and external factors. Most marketing and recruitment managers face problems in the outreach and acquisition of the tech-savvy cohort during the critical pre-entry phase. A lack of brand awareness and slow speed to connect with high-quality personalised data during the waiting period of the student recruitment cycle is constantly leading to significant loss of revenue and low conversion ratios.

Marketing to Millennials

We have recognised that this generation values being acknowledged as individuals, being presented with options, and feeling connected. They’re receptive to brand storytelling over straightforward ads. Millennials exhibit early adoption tendencies and develop a sign of loyalty to brands they can trust. Millennials do not care if the content is branded; they care about whether it speaks to them. 95% of Students prefer apps to mobile-ready portals, and universities have to adopt an app-first strategy to enhance the students’ satisfaction levels and increase their student recruitment numbers.

Proodle asked international students who choose the UK as their study abroad destination about the problems they faced when they were applying for universities. 62% said it was hard to raise enquiries, 31% said the university did not even respond, which made their application process harder and forced them to go to alternative sources such as agents. We also asked them for their opinion regarding the user experience of the university website and its effect on their application process; 70% said it was complicated to find application timelines, 78% said there is a lack of country-specific information and it was a burden to understand entry requirements, and 95% said they suffered from a lack of personalisation.

Innovation can change the game

Millennials have a lot to offer the market, and it all starts with capturing their attention. The rise of social and influencer marketing exemplifies how millennials prefer to be part of a brand’s conversation. By directly addressing this generation, brands can spark a connection. Student facing web and mobile apps can facilitate this and streamline the recruitment process, allowing the universities to have access to the most up-to-date information about a prospective student’s enquiries, application status or offer letter, and directly recruit high-calibre students by making marketing and contact strategy more targeted and cost-effective.  

By having a greater insight into the behaviour of your users and provide them with high-quality personalised information, we can now follow an e-commerce marketing approach for better conversion of an enquirer into an applicant and then ultimately a successful enrolment. Personalisation and the ability to connect prospects with existing resources is key to making users feel proud of being part of your institution.

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admin June 19, 2018 0 Comments