Universities should give offers after results day, says study

The Guardian | January 14, 2019

School leavers should apply to universities only after seeing their A-level results, a move that would end the controversial use of unconditional offers, in a major reform of the current system, according to a report backed by university staff.Changes to the timing of the academic year and greater support for school-leavers could also form part part of the reforms, according to the report.The move would end the uncertainties and perverse outcomes that bedevil the current system, including bias in favour of independent school applicants, according to the report’s backers.The reforms, backed by the Universities and College Union, would see school-leavers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland apply for courses after seeing the results of their A-level and BTec exams or other qualifications, rather than applying months beforehand, as is currently the case.Angela Nartey, a UCU policy officer and co-author of the report, said: “The current system simply isn’t fit for purpose. It was designed in the 1960s, when only about 5% of school-leavers went on to study at university, and there’s an urgent need for reform and greater transparency.”

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

Cornerstone and EdCast Accelerate Innovation for People Growth at Work

Cornerstone | September 14, 2022

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a leader in adaptive HR solutions, today announced several advancements to EdCast, the industry-leading Learning Experience Platform (LXP) acquired by Cornerstone in May 2022. New skills capabilities, deepened cross-platform integrations and more intuitive insights and dashboards top the list of the latest capabilities being delivered since the acquisition to help customers improve people growth and business productivity. In the past five months, we have made tremendous strides in strengthening the connections between the EdCast and Cornerstone offerings,” said Himanshu Palsule, CEO of Cornerstone. Our priority is to deliver more value to combined customers and their users, while ensuring the EdCast LXP is still open, independent and available broadly to any organization with different learning management tools. We are invested in EdCast and bringing to life innovation that revolutionizes the learning and development market. Some of the most recent enhancements to EdCast include: Enriched User Experience: EdCast customers can now take advantage of an updated user experience across products and channels based on a new design system. The new experience provides improved user experience consistency across the platform, visual design with more modern visual identity, improved accessibility standards and more seamless connection between mobile and desktop. Enhanced Learner & Manager Dashboards: Updates to EdCast’s learner dashboard allow employees to connect to one another more intuitively, track their progress, manage their skills profiles and further personalize their learning experience. Manager dashboards provide new actionable insights with a singular view of how their teams are learning, what skills they have and at what level, and assign new relevant and timely learning content to engage them as an active participant in their team’s development. New In the Flow of Work Integrations: The next evolution of the EdCast Integrations Hub includes an enterprise-level workflow automation platform with ready-to-use connectors across a variety of enterprise applications and content providers, and the ability to create customized connectors, ensuring customers can seamlessly incorporate learning into the platforms their people are already using. This includes EdCast’s latest integration with Zoom Video Communication, Inc., which embeds learning and training tools within Zoom Meetings to drive productivity and upskilling in the flow of work. Subject Matter Expert (SME) Empowerment: The EdCast platform now offers more power to internal SMEs so they can share their knowledge and skills with others across their organization. Employees can create their own learning badges to showcase and celebrate skill development and expertise. Employees can also share certification on LinkedIn to promote their skills outside of their organization.While Cornerstone is committed to keeping the EdCast product open and platform-agnostic, the company has also invested in deeper integrations with Cornerstone's existing learning and talent solutions. Together, joint customers will have improved end-to-end content experiences for learners regardless of where they consume learning via a native inline player. A new integration between EdCast and the Cornerstone Skills Graph opens up a taxonomy of over 53,000 skills to develop skill profiles and make skill recommendations based on job roles. Following its acquisition by Cornerstone, EdCast continues to receive industry recognition for its outstanding leadership in the market. Most recently, MyGuide, the Digital Adoption Product (DAP) offering from EdCast, was recognized as a major contender in Everest Group’s PEAK Matrix for DAP Technology. "EdCast is a critical part of our product portfolio at Cornerstone, and our team is diligently focused on doing what we originally set out to do when we launched EdCast: provide the best learning experience platform on the market,The amount of integration progress we’ve made in this short amount of time is astounding, and we have long-term plans to continue at this pace of innovation and transform learning at work.” Karl Mehta, Managing Director, EdCast by Cornerstone About Cornerstone Cornerstone powers the future-ready workforce with adaptive HR solutions designed to unite technology, data and content and inspire a work environment of growth, agility and success for all. With an AI-powered, skills-forward, experiential system designed for the contemporary workforce, we help organizations modernize their learning and development experience, deliver the most relevant content from anywhere, accelerate talent and career mobility and establish skills as the universal language of growth and success across their business. Cornerstone serves over 7,000 customers and 90M users and is available in 180 countries and 50 languages.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

Google for Education Partners with Instructure to Simplify Integration and Extend Digital Classroom Capabilities

Instructure | September 22, 2022

Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created.Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created. Elevate Data Sync, Instructure's standards-based interoperability solution that enables secure sharing of student, staff and learning data, will create classes with all the right students ahead of the first day of school and keep them updated if a student changes classes. This automated and adaptable integration can hopefully save teachers, students and the professionals who support them significant amounts of time. Through our partnership with Elevate Data Sync by Instructure, we have added the ability to sync the rosters from your student information system to Classroom, so classes can be automatically created and updated, launching in 15 countries," said Alisa Sommer, head of edtech partnerships at Google. "Education data integration is a complex problem, so we wanted an enterprise-class partner with deep expertise and a cloud-based platform that supports multiple standards and integration methods. "This partnership with Google Classroom is an ideal example of how Instructure's Learning Platform empowers partners and institutions to innovate and integrate faster,We're proud to be able to work with Google to find a solution that makes the job of educators easier while maintaining the highest level of privacy and security for student data." Kevin Turco, vice president of product management at Instructure Schools with Google Workspace for Education Plus that are interested in trying out the integration can sign up for the beta and can find onboarding help on Instructure's Community page. Schools can request more information about Google Workspace for Education Plus if they don't have a subscription already. Once signed up for the beta, admins will be able to integrate class lists and timetables (rosters) directly with most major student information systems or can opt to connect using OneRoster or CSV files. The solution is available and localized in Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. ABOUT INSTRUCTURE Instructure ( NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Flywire Announces Acquisition of Cohort Go to Accelerate Growth with International Education Agents

Flywire | July 14, 2022

Today, Flywire Corporation , a global payments enablement and software company, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Cohort Go, an international education payments provider that brings additional students, agents and essential student services to Flywire. The acquisition will build on Flywire’s existing education business to accelerate the growth of its agent focus and team, deepen its commitment to product and payment innovation, and further invest in Asia-Pacific (APAC), a key geographic focus for Flywire. Cohort Go’s core focus is on providing international students with the ability to make cross-border tuition payments through international agents. Cohort Go’s agent platform is expected to bolster Flywire’s existing agent solutions to deliver even greater value to educational institutions, agents, and students. Additionally, with partner relationships in almost 40 geographies, Cohort Go’s global footprint and penetration in APAC and Latin America also present new growth and expansion opportunities for Flywire. “Recruiting agencies play a critical role in the international student journey by assisting students in finding placements in higher educational and other institutions. “Cohort Go has been prominent in this space, with a network of over 1,000 agent partnerships, including some of the most prestigious student recruitment agencies in the world.” Mike Massaro, CEO of Flywire Massaro continued: “As we continue to invest in our Flywire Advantage – the combination of our next-gen payments platform, proprietary global payment network and industry-specific software – we seek opportunities to embed deeper into the workflows of our clients, agents and payers, with the goal of driving more value for them. Cohort Go’s successful agent platform, global footprint and adjacent services complement our existing capabilities and will help us power the higher education ecosystem into the future.” Growth in international student recruitment indicates strong secular trend Recent research suggests that the international education industry is poised for significant growth. According to new data from the market intelligence firm HolonIQ, 8 million international students will be enrolled with foreign higher education institutions by 2030 – 3 million more than were abroad in 2019 – and that their total spending will amount to more than double what it was before the pandemic. As the demand for higher education accelerates, education agents are expected to play a critical role in international recruitment. Estimates from the international education consultancy, ICEF, suggest that more than 1 million students are placed through agents around the world, and rising. According to a 2021 report from the American International Recruitment Council and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, nearly half (49%) of U.S. colleges who responded were partnered with education agents, which is up from 36% of U.S. in 2017-2018. Agent growth is also on the rise in other popular higher education destination markets like Canada, whose international student population has grown sixfold over the past two decades. Cohort Go was founded in 2012 by industry experts Mark Fletcher and Paul Jones, who combined their respective expertise in banking and commercial software to enable students to pay for their international education using their local currency, saving on fees and transfer rates. Grounded in their aligned vision to deliver value to the broader education ecosystems, the founders continually sought ways to work with education agents, institutions and students alike, and evolved their single solution into an online platform that offers a tailored experience, with capabilities to reduce costs, increase choice and improve productivity. Today, Cohort Go partners with more than 1,000 agents globally. Students from more than 180 countries have leveraged Cohort Go, which services more than 60 currencies with local specialists all over the world. The integration of Cohort Go into Flywire’s existing agent platform will enable Flywire to provide even more value to agents, payers, and educational institutions. Combination of software and payments powers future vertical ecosystems Cohort Go’s strong regional focus in APAC, global agent relationships, and its existing payment infrastructure will help Flywire bolster its global payment network. Cohort Go’s relationships with payment partners all over the world will add to Flywire’s network of partners, further supporting Flywire’s clients and payers across all vertical industries. Additionally, the acquisition of Cohort Go also enhances Flywire’s ability to accelerate Flywire’s roadmap to enable a broader suite of financial services targeted to international students and other payers. Already, Cohort Go is improving the way students pay for and save on health insurance, which augments Flywire’s focus on adding more value through its payer services. “Working with our clients on delivering high-stakes, high-value tuition payments, we’ve continued to discover pain points in the education ecosystem that we believe we’re uniquely positioned to solve,” Massaro continued. “Cohort Go gives us an opportunity to accelerate the investment we have been making to further extend our value proposition to international students. With our Flywire Advantage, we can apply our existing framework of using software to drive value in payments to solve very specific use cases.” Complements strong organic growth The acquisition of Cohort Go is a continuation of Flywire’s long-term plan to supplement its strong organic growth and continually expand across all business lines. The acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive to revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. More details will be shared on the upcoming earnings call scheduled for August 9, 2022. About Flywire Flywire is a global payments enablement and software company. We combine our proprietary global payments network, next-gen payments platform and vertical-specific software to deliver the most important and complex payments for our clients and their customers. Flywire leverages its vertical-specific software and payments technology to deeply embed within the existing A/R workflows for its clients across the education, healthcare and travel vertical markets, as well as in key B2B industries. Flywire also integrates with leading ERP systems, such as NetSuite, so organizations can optimize the payment experience for their customers while eliminating operational challenges.

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