The comprehensive digital platform of Country OS Estonia offered to the world on April 1 turned out to be too much too early, but the fast-growing Estonian EdTech startup Dreamapply has already signed up more than 110 universities in 14 countries for their admission platform. Now they are looking at Finland.
Globalization is pushing for employees with international vision and multicultural experiences, but both, the universities and the students, are struggling with this partly because of the old-fashioned paperwork in the recruitment process. Commercialized since 2011 in Latvia and Estonia, Dreamapply found its niche and has swept across the continent ever since.
Dreamapply offers an admission system where both universities and prospective students can save time and benefit from the moment a student shows interest in her dream school to the point he or she steps into the campus. The platform claims to facilitate communication between the two parties and keep a lid on the administrative cost by reducing 60 percent of email traffic. Moreover, the service features a marketing management programme for universities to take full control of their campaigns in order to maximize their ROI (Return on Investment).
Dreamapply looks at Finnish market at a critical moment when the country’s education system is in the midst of massive cost cuts and it is due to impose tuition fees for students outside of EU or EEA region from 2017. Although 10,000 to 25,000 euros a year may scare away many applicants, it could become an opportunity for universities which adapt well.
Since Estonia adopted the system in 2011, the country has witnessed a fourfold increase in application number which earned Dreamapply a high profile endorsement from the Estonian authority. “There are several good co-operation projects going on between Estonia and Finland (X-road, EduCloud). We believe that Finland could also benefit from Dreamapply when dealing with international admission, exchange and marketing processes as have been the case for Estonia,” says Janar Holm, secretary general at Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.
The EdTech market is booming around the globe and Dreamapply’s 2016 growth expectation of 400% is not unusual number globally. Beyond figures, the original idea remains unchanged.
“I went to Belgium to practice my French and to learn about Belgian culture, but I also learned more about Estonian culture and myself. When I got back home I felt that every young person should have this life-changing experience abroad and I wanted to help them to develop themselves. Now, together with my fabulous team we have been working for many years for this cause,” says Märt Aro, head of International Operations at Dreamapply.