A PIONEERING ed-tech firm has announced the opening of a new office in one of the most popular international student destinations in the world.
London-based organisation The Access Platform (TAP) has created a new base in Sydney, Australia, following a rapid and successful growth in the Australian and New Zealand higher education sector.
Now with both feet on the ground and in the same time zone, the student recruitment firm is able to provide more hands-on support to its 25 higher education and university partners across Australia and New Zealand.
TAP Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nik Higgins will head to Sydney to join the team and lead the operation in October.
He said: “The higher education sector in Australia and New Zealand, is dynamic, fast-paced and exciting. Having spent many months in both countries in recent years, I have come to understand why studying at one of their many excellent universities is such a scintillating prospect.
“The growth of TAP in ANZ has been rapid, based on an increasing realisation that peer recruitment as a tool to engage is incredibly powerful and also, in part, due to the effects of Covid-19. Our platform provides universities with the exact tools they need to attract, engage and reassure in a world where almost every prospective student is a digital native.
“The decision to open an office in Sydney is based on simple principles. At TAP we relentlessly strive to deliver the very best service to our partners. Australia and New Zealand now represent the largest base of partners using TAP’s technology outside of the UK. It was only right we mirrored their commitment to us, with a commitment to them.”
The move comes as universities continue to grapple with the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic. While some countries are now starting the long journey towards normality, the socio-economic effects of the disease are expected to be felt for some time.
The Access Platform’s peer recruitment technology encourages prospective students to interact on a personal level with existing students and ambassadors through an engaging and interactive platform. The technology gives prospective students a new way to break the ice and gain an insight into university life by chatting to student ambassadors who share similar interests.
The first employee to join TAP’s team in Australia is Customer Success Manager Tom Dunlop.
Before becoming a member of the team, Tom spent eight years working for Navitas, one of the world’s largest education providers, spending time based in China and in Sydney.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Tom said he was excited to be part of The Access Platform’s mission to take student recruitment to the next level in Australia.
He added: “TAP is the future landscape of student recruitment and as international students make up such a huge proportion of our local economy, it’s perfect that The Access Platform created an office here.
“I grew up with the internet evolving around us and seeing the way TAP has been built for digital natives is truly revolutionary for higher education. The beauty of the platform is that anyone considering a university is just one tap away from finding out all they want to know.
“Especially during this pandemic, it’s phenomenal how quickly The Access Platform has accelerated its growth. Despite the current climate, Universities are still able to create and continue that personal connection with their prospective students and stay in the spotlight.”
Since 2017, there has been an 11 per cent increase in international students choosing to study in Australia. This year, the Australian government revealed more than 600,000 people had entered the country on a student visa.
Overtaking the United Kingdom, Australia has now been deemed as the second most popular destination for overseas students, after the United States of America.
Leanne Harrison, Associate Director of Student Recruitment and Global Learning at the University of Canberra, said: “It’s great to hear that The Access Platform will be supporting their Australian and New Zealand customers by setting up shop in Sydney.
“They are such a great crew to work with and this just confirms that they take customer service seriously.”
Following lockdown and the slow re-opening of the country’s borders, hundreds of oversea students are expected to return to Australia in the next coming weeks.
Nik said: “These are exciting times for TAP. Our commitment to the ANZ market is unwavering and I cannot wait to start working from our Sydney base later this year.
“With so many fantastic partners already on board - and I am sure many more to come - this feels like the start of what will be an incredible journey.”