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UCB partners with UniQuest to increase international admissions capacity

chris sharp

Global student engagement, conversion and enrolment specialist UniQuest has forged a new partnership with University College Birmingham (UCB), to provide admissions support through both increased offer-making capacity and management of applicant enquiries for international students. 

It comes at a time of record international applications for UCB, which was voted UK University of the Year in the 2022 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. The January 2023 intake saw the highest volume of applications in recent history for the university, with this year’s September intake already following a similar trajectory.  

Now live, the partnership sees UniQuest supporting UCB by processing both undergraduate and postgraduate applications from prospective international students, ultimately helping to speed up turnaround times. One aspect of the operation includes UniQuest making conditional offers based on pre-agreed criteria with UCB.

The partnership also extends to managing applicant enquiries. UniQuest will be communicating with global recruitment agents acting on behalf of applicants, to address any concerns raised throughout the enrolment journey with the aim of providing a smooth applicant experience. 

Having launched its admissions service last year to address the huge demand facing university admissions teams, UniQuest has built up a dedicated support staff of 60+, 

with overseas hubs in Manila and Bangalore. 

The team has already processed over 75,000 applications for UniQuest’s existing admissions partners, which include Aberystwyth University, QAHE and Teesside University. 

Data from across UniQuest’s UK partner network shows the scale of current demand from prospective international students. The January 2023 intake saw an 89% year-on-year increase in applications. Analysis of FAQs also shows that the current number one enquiry from Indian and Nigerian applicants relates to offer times and application progress. 

Commenting on the partnership, Chris Sharpe, Director of International Recruitment at UCB, says:

“The implementation of this long-term strategic partnership uniquely positions UCB to drive forward our international strategy and positions us to expand our global presence. With the volume of international applications only continuing to grow, it was critical that we forged a strong partnership delivering the agility that our international audience demands. In establishing a partnership with UniQuest, we believe that we have found that partner to meet customer expectations and support UCB in reaching our potential.”

Rachel Fletcher, Co-Founder and CEO of UniQuest, adds: 

“It’s really difficult for admissions teams to just keep delivering in the face of this huge rise in demand from international applicants. Without being able to very quickly build up capacity and improve the processing approach, the workload is simply unmanageable. That affects the applicant experience – they get fed up of waiting for their application to progress and simply apply elsewhere. This in turn can compromise relationships with international recruitment agents.  

“UCB is a popular choice for international students looking to study in the UK, and it’s fantastic to see them taking a proactive approach to avoid any admissions bottlenecks. We’ve seen considerable success already with some of our existing admissions partners, including reducing application-to-offer time by over 3 weeks for one university, so we’re excited to see what we can achieve with UCB.” 

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