'Tinder' for education comes to UK
A social network likened to dating app 'Tinder' which lets people research, compare and discuss their university and career options has announced its UK launch after securing backing from angel investors earlier this year.
Coursematch, which uses the popular 'swipe-left/swipe-right' interface, was launched in 2016 after its founders spotted a gap in the market for a platform for young people considering their next steps in life.
The app is especially timely as thousands of A-Level students prepare to get their results on Thursday, August 16.
Users create a profile based on their A-level subjects, predicted grades and extra-curricular interests – and are then instantly matched with relevant degree courses from across the UK.
Coursematch was the brainchild of 35-year-old edtech entrepreneur Chris Worsey and computer science graduate Joe Perkins, 24.
The pair both had similar difficulties choosing educational paths and the idea for the app came during a conversation about that frustration.
"I first looked at university courses in 2001," Worsey said.
"There wasn't a platform that allowed me to consider multiple university courses in one place, access the information on course providers I needed, or even talk to other students outside of my social circle (this was pre-Facebook). Almost two decades later, nothing has changed."
Worsey cited research that there are over 50,000 different undergraduate courses provided by almost 400 institutions in the UK. The company found in initial market research that students consider just seven courses on average before applying to universities.
"It would take most people longer to decide on the right pair of jeans, and yet this is a decision that could cost upwards of £27,000 and change a young person’s life forever," Worsey added.
“It’s astounding to think that these important life decisions are being made based on such a lack of information.”
Coursematch claims to have been downloaded by over 14,000 people to date. The platform currently has 5,000 regularly active users.
"We've already working with five universities. For Coursematch, the story has just started. We’re ready to help shape it."
The entrepreneurs secured £275,000 in funding earlier this year from seven business angels, including Dhiraj Mukherjee, founder of the song identification app Shazam.
Mukherjee said: "My focus is helping start-ups which create a positive impact on society, and I am fully supportive of Coursematch's mission to help young people make better education and career choices."