New features on our path to becoming The Matchmaker in Higher Education
Exciting new features have been added to Studyportals’ student-facing portals like Mastersportal, Bachelorsportal and PhDportal. These recent innovations are mostly centred around the Profile Page for our student users. This personal page is quickly becoming a key component in the student’s journey with Studyportals as we move to more personalised services for our users.
At the end of 2020, Studyportals released a new version of the profile page, and we have since added a variety of personalised content suggestions to it. We now present our students with a tailored selection of programmes, scholarships and articles. This selection is based on their profile information and on their search behaviour on our platform. This product innovation fits with our product strategy of becoming ‘The Matchmaker’ in higher education.
Becoming ‘The matchmaker’ means we have the ambition to lead in the industry when it comes to matching students with the programmes and institutions that fit them best. With the amount of data we have on students in general, but also on an individual level, we are uniquely positioned to make this ambition a reality. It will be reflected in every aspect of our services, on our portals as well as in further engagement with our student community.
It means a shift from a static content platform to a service that pro-actively curates the content for each individual student. We currently gather and create a lot of valuable content, and until recently this was presented in a generic way to all visitors. This approach required students to find their own way through. Our aim is to gradually transform to offer a personalised experience in our portals. We leverage the insights about their interests and their capabilities, and guide them to the most relevant content for their unique situation. This will make it easier for them to find the right programmes and make better decisions.
A personalised content feed that serves as the homepage for their users is very common for content platforms, think of Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, etc. And in general, the trend of increasingly personalised experiences has become the norm for what customers expect from any brand that wants to connect with them.
To optimise personal content presentation, we are stimulating profile quality and completeness. The more we know about the student’s interests, the better our suggestions will be. Having an improved profile page at the heart of the user experience will elevate the profile quality, especially if we reward it by personalising and enriching the content for the students. More profile questions are added, for instance about the student’s preferred mode of attendance (online, on-campus or a mix of the two). Knowing this will help us guide the students to relevant programme suggestions, which in turn will benefit our university partners because it results in higher traffic quality on programme and profile pages. The detailed profile information will help us improve our products and services for students, but it will also be a huge benefit in identifying and attributing enrolments and will enable highly specific targeting in the future.
The scholarships and articles Studyportals suggests are based on the student’s country and/or discipline of interest. Our programme recommendations are based on an advanced algorithm, similar to the one used by Amazon to recommend products to its customers.
We use machine learning to identify patterns based on a student’s browsing behaviour, which is then compared to students with similar browsing behaviour on our platform. It subsequently enriches the recommendations by matching data about the student’s profile (e.g. tuition budget, country and discipline of interest) with that of the programme (e.g. tuition fee, admission requirements) to maximise the relevancy.
The results of the improved profile page are promising and we will continue to iterate on it in combination with further user research. We’re excited about this innovation and committed to our mission of
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