GEMS Education has launched the UniConnect Programme, a series of strategic partnerships designed to provide scholarships and financial aid to GEMS students seeking admission at universities around the world.
UniConnect will provide students with access to partner universities and colleges, and highlight the universities' specific offerings to GEMS students. Partner universities will have direct access to students in GEMS' network of 250 schools.
Commenting on the partnership, GEMS Education CEO Dino Varkey said: "This initiative aims to make access to higher education a realistic choice for all our GEMS graduates. Because of our long standing record of academic excellence we have been able to form partnerships under the UniConnect Programme which will provide our students with an added advantage. They can apply to specific scholarships, access financial aid and in some instances receive preferred preference at the university and colleges we are partnered with."
The UniConnect Programme offers three levels of partnership to Universities and Colleges Platinum, Gold and Silver. Each partnership level provides different relationship opportunities for the institution and for families as well.
GEMS Education consultant on higher education initiatives Robert Wilson told Education Journal Middle East: "GEMS UniConnect programme offers a host of beneficial services for universities- and ensures a productive, long-lasting centralized relationship with GEMS schools and students on an international scale."
Based on the various partnership levels, benefits for universities include free access to students through recruitment fairs, university outreach projects; placement opportunities for the university's graduate/undergraduate teacher candidates in GEMS schools; faculty and alumni connects, visits by the university's recruitment teams to speak to parents and students; and communication and displays about the university's programmes at GEMS schools.
While universities across various countries have been invited to sign up as partners, GEMS did not provide more details on which universities it is speaking to or how many higher education institutions have signed up for the programme.
Commenting on the benefit for students, Wilson said: "The UniConnect Programme will enable families to enjoy a wide range of opportunities for their children. The programme will ensure that GEMS graduates get quality education in the top universities within the region and across the globe. Further, UniConnect will allow students to have access to a more efficient career counselling set up, which will cover all the four major aspects career advising, study abroad, standardised assessment testing support and preparation. UniConnect will assist in establishing foundational, ground-breaking affiliations with local and international universities. Thus, this mutually-beneficial relationship will offer a host of jointly beneficial, customized services for institutions and ensure a productive, long-lasting relationship with GEMS schools and students on an international level."
The UniConnect programme is one of a several initiatives GEMS is working on to help students with higher education choices. GEMS recently announced a partnership with Intelligent Partners, a Middle East-based study abroad and university advising consultancy. That alliance aims to complement existing college and university admissions advisers within the GEMS network, and offer a new and comprehensive range of services.