Choosing the best next steps after school can be a big challenge for students. The myriad of different opportunities including over 44,000 universities courses, in excess of 17,000 apprenticeship schemes, and thousands of college courses pose a difficult and often confusing challenge for students, their teachers and parents. The Unifrog team saw a gap in the market for a tool that would help students make the right decision from all the opportunities out there.
Unifrog asked us to create something unique: an online platform that would really make a difference to students, their teachers and parents during the tricky processes of deciding what to do after leaving school. The tool would be based on personal information about the student: anticipated grades, geographic area and their interests, as well as live, accurate and relevant data about university courses, apprenticeships and further education opportunities.
We leapt at the chance to be involved in the project as this is what we specialise in; creating totally bespoke software and building platforms that are unique within their marketplace.
The Unifrog platform allows students to compare every post-16 and post-18 opportunity in the UK side by side
• University courses
• Further education courses
• Moocs (Massive Open Online courses)
Students use the tool to help them research the different career paths available based on a variety of factors including, academic suitability, location, career interest, labour market information, number of jobs, etc.
The foundation of Unifrog and the key to its effectiveness is the data on which it is based, and the way that this data is interpreted. Unifrog uses multiple sources of data from organisations including UCAS, HESS, HEFCE, the Guardian, Unistats, universities themselves and the Cabinet office.
The system is user-friendly and intuitive. Each student has their own online account where they enter their grade expectations and preferred subject or career path which interests them.
It aims to help widen the student’s horizons through its intelligent suggestion tool - suggesting courses and apprenticeships that are relevant to the individual student. It then creates a personal list based on the student’s selections.
It’s also responsive. This means that it works just as well on a mobile as it does on a tablet, so a student can use it even whilst sitting on the bus.
A further challenge for students and teachers was the amount of admin involved in preparing making applications for the opportunities chosen. The platform makes it easy for students to generate lists of their preferred opportunities and send them onto their teachers automatically. They can record what they are good at, write CVs and personal statements on Unifrog. Teachers can review these, give feedback and write references. It also acts as a to do list, so everyone knows what the next task is, and everything gets done.
From a school’s perspective it can help them prepare for Ofsted (as everything is recorded in one place, leaving a perfect audit trail) raise attainment, raise student’s aspirations and fulfil their statutory duty to provide independent impartial guidance on all opportunities available to students.
Unifrog is an online platform that helps students make intelligent and informed decisions about their choice of university or apprenticeship and enables teachers to track their progress.
Unifrog brings every university course, apprenticeship, and college course in the UK, as well as other opportunities, such as School Leaver Programmes, MOOCs and every college at Oxford and Cambridge together into one place.
There is no other tool that gives students the opportunity to compare all these pathways fully and choose the best opportunity for them.