StudySear.ch Launches in Beta to Help Nigerians Join UK Colleges

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obasThe StudySear.ch platform is the easiest and most affordable way for Nigerians to apply to study in the UK.  All the relevant information required to make a successful application is available for prospective students, their parents and sponsors on one single platform.

The platform matches prospective applicants with universities and courses based on their budget, field of interest and other key factors. It also provides a breakdown in Naira of everything from course fees to cost of living and leisure in a clear and concise format making it very easy to understand. The studysear.ch checklist indicates all the necessary steps and documentation required to make an application. We have a dedicated team that provides thorough support and guidance throughout the application process if the prospective applicant chooses to make the application through studysear.ch.

TechMoran had covered StudySearch earlier though briefly but reached out to co-founder Krystle O’basi who led us in about the company’s plans and experiences and below is the interview.

Who are the founders/background?

I Co-founded Studysear.ch with my brother Frederik Obasi, a law and politics graduate who previously worked with Rocket Internet and has a background in start-ups, growth hacking and fundraising. My background is in digital strategy, communication and governance. We have both studied in Nigeria and the UK. Our lead developer is Angus Okereafor, he has over 5 years experience developing custom applications in healthcare, telecommunications and the banking sector. Angus has worked with clients such as Globacom and Vconnect.

What inspired you to launch it?

obasi2A good friend of ours applied through an agent to study an MBA at a UK university, only for him to arrive in the UK and find out the course was not fully accredited, the sad thing about his situation was that he had turned down a good job offer in order to further his studies and his parents had already paid the fees. I’m sure if he’d been given the right information, impartial guidance and support he would not have found himself in such a predicament.

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“Information on studying abroad is fragmented and distributed across too many channels making the process of applying and gaining admission abroad, unclear and complicated. There is also the issue of misinformation, lack of transparency and affordability which is actually a global problem and it’s costing both students and educational institutions a lot of money, so much so that a group of education institutions and organisations have come together to create the “ London statement”, A code of ethics to help tackle these issues.

How does it work?

Using our match tool users can search for a course, and specify their budget, there are over 539 courses from 96 universities that prospective students can be matched to, all the information regarding the university and application process is displayed. The prospective student can either choose to apply or save the course until they are ready to proceed with the application.

obasi3Any competition

There are a number of platforms that cater to the global market such as UCAS and Hotcourses Abroad; however the requirements for Nigerian applicants are totally different than those for applicants from the UK and Asia for example. These platforms have not localized their content and data for the Nigerian applicant and because of physical location (outside of Nigeria) they cannot provide the hands on support many applicants and their families require.

The StudySear.ch platform is created specifically for the Nigerian applicant, their parents and/or sponsor.  Agents are also working in this space, but we do not consider them our competition, because we provide the most comprehensive data on choosing a course and university in the UK, we are able to support the applicant and their families in making best decision for them. We work collaboratively with reputable agents so if the prospective applicant chooses to make an application through an agent in our network we can recommend the most suitable.

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Do you think Nigeria is ready for StudySear.ch?

obasi4Definitely and there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. It’s estimated that Nigerians spend £300M annually on tuition at British universities and elite secondary schools so it’s clearly an important market. Nigerians have long historical ties with the UK which is why schooling in the U.K is a popular choice for many Nigerians. Iain Stewart, a member of the British parliament predicts that by 2015 there will be 30,000 Nigerian students studying in universities across the UK.

From experience we know that the market has not adjusted properly to cater for the Nigerians who want to study abroad, many Nigerian  applicants have had the unfortunate experiences of dealing with unethical agents and it’s time for a technical solution which caters specifically for Nigerians.  We know there’s no better time to be launching Studysear.ch.

Any round of funding from who-if not are you bootstrapping?

We’ve raised a seed round from the Savannah Fund, Africans leading technology seed fund and accelerator.