Pune students create platform that offers advice for applying to international universities

More than 35 students from 15 countries and 20 top universities give consultations

Two students from Pune have created a platform that provides students with advice on how to apply to international universities and guides them through the application process.

24-year-old Yash Gulati, who studies at Queen Mary University in London and 21-year-old Devika Ghosal, who studies at University of Warwick, the founders of Inforens, said the practicalities of student application procedures are cumbersome and often result in international students missing out on top universities despite having the skills, due to the the generalised and bad advice they receive from educational consultant companies.Queen Mary University

“While applying for a master’s, I first turned to education counsellors in the city and online but soon realised the advice and university recommendations they were giving are very generic. I was lucky to find acquaintances who guided me through the process and made me realise that to get into top universities, only grades weren’t enough. Rather, they need to see the passion, visions and future plans of the student applying for the programme.

So, Inforens was born out of our personal struggles to understand the application system abroad,” Gulati told The Indian Express.

Inforens has 35 team members from 15 countries across 20 top ranked universities, including University of Oxford and London School of Economics.

“Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we are completely student-run,” said Gulati, who is studying for an MSc in international business and politics. He added that the marketing, organisation as well consulting team are all current students from different countries and degrees, covering almost all Russell Group universities. Most consultants today are just professionals who have never actually gone through the process and this offers only generic advice.

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Information for students is at the heart of their enterprise and their main objective is to provide free benefits to students through this social initiative, said Devika, who is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. “Our basic service is free of cost as we are lucky to have a team of international students who are happy to volunteer and share a similar vision like us to help future international students,” said Gulati.

“Eventually, our vision is to create a platform that connects international applicants to a current student studying the degree and university that the applicant wants to apply to. So, it’s mutually beneficial as the applicant pays far less than large consultants charge, receives customised advice and helps a current student cover his part-time expenses. We want to change the way education consulting has simply become a business and consulting companies only advertise universities that tie-up with them and applicants lose out on the chance to get into a better university,” said Devika and Yash. So far, Inforens has offered over a 100 consultations via Zoom since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Currently we are receiving more demand from Asian countries for our services and mostly students looking to study in Europe. Our scale-up plan is to first cover all large states as well as towns in India and then expand to neighboring countries as already we have team members who are from these countries. The pandemic has changed the university experience as now, they have adopted a blended approach that is likely to continue to some extent even in the future,” they said.

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