Exploring Excellent Education Decisions Through Shared Experiences, an Interview:

June 10, 2022

Univiser's peer-to-peer platform provides a safe and easy-to-use forum for prospective students to ask questions and get advice from student student ambassadors, emphasizing the importance of student input in the decision-making process, and connecting students with similar interests.

Our Team got in touch with Univiser's very own Student Ambassador and former prospective student to delve deeper into the benefits of being able to reach out and help prospective students remotely from anywhere and at any time around the globe on Univiser.

We have Joanne, currently a Student Ambassador at Royal Institute of Colombo affiliated to the University of London, along with Tharika, former prospective student looking to enroll at the same University throwing light on some of the key areas from an ambassador’s and prospective student’s view on Univiser using their very own experiences:

Team Univiser (TU): How Long Have You Been A Student Ambassador?
Joanne: I have been a buddy since the introduction of the Student Buddy Program at RIC which was somewhere around 2019. Much less, I was one of the very first buddies!

TU: What made you want to become a Student Ambassador?
Joanne: It was upon the invitation of our teachers asking for volunteers to join this program and help prospective students in making the right higher-ed decision and or even the existing junior students who require additional help as they progress towards the higher levels of their modules by sharing my very own experiences and the wealth of knowledge gained throughout my years of study at Uni.

TU: What do you enjoy about being a Student Ambassador?
Joanne: It is being able to interact with and help students make well-informed decisions by simply bringing out all what I have learnt so far by sharing my knowledge and experiences with them.

TU: Did you use Univiser to talk to an ambassador before you enrolled for university?
If not, how do you think you would have benefitted if you had? Joanne: No. Unfortunately, Univiser didn’t exist the time I was looking to get enrolled in a university back then. It would have benefitted me big time because without Univiser, I had to find contacts of students who were already in the university by going through seniors in school, my parents had to go speak with other parents, and so on . That complexity wouldn’t have existed If I were able to simply login to the university’s website and directly get in touch with a student at the University such as a student ambassador as with Univiser today.

TU: How useful do you think a platform like the one Univiser offers is to new students, such as yourself, especially as of today?
Joanne: In a situation like with the pandemic today where parents or students can’t actually go out to get the numbers of and talk to other parents or students physically face-to-face, having a platform like Univiser is VERY, very helpful! Particularly, in a world we’re more integrated with technology, for instance, we’re having lectures through zoom basically, so why not be able to speak with a student ambassador online as well?!

TU: Would you consider recommending others to become a student ambassador?
Joanne: Yes, I would definitely do so! Since each person has different perspectives and experiences, the more students we have joining as student ambassadors, there’s bigger and better reach for prospective students looking to enroll in the university. Even for the existing juniors, to reach out to more people with different perspectives on the same subject matter means the same thing.

TU: Do you have any advice to others who are not yet ambassadors?
Joanne: For everyone who is not a student ambassador yet, I would totally recommend them to join as one simply because it is all about helping other people. Additionally, as the community grows, it’ll be much more useful in terms of their career in the form of increasing one’s network and networking, which is a crucial part of this generation. While Joanne, the very first student ambassador at RIC, paints a clear picture about the life of a student before and after the introduction of Univiser’s student ambassador program using her very own first-hand experiences, Tharika explicates the hows and whys of the benefits of such a program using her very own experience as a prospective student before enrolling at The Royal Institute of Colombo:

TU: How did you find the platform? Was it easy to use and what did you like about it?
Tharika: I visited the RIC website to find more information about the degree and there was a feature where I could chat with an alumni or a lecturer. It was a very user-friendly interface since you can filter your results according to the type of degree and the type of student ambassador you want to speak to. And you just have to select the ambassador and send a message, it was very easy!

TU: Swapping text messages is becoming more common, especially with the younger generation. Did you prefer it that way? Do you think it has more advantages compared to face-to-back talks on an open day?
Tharika: Yes, I do prefer messaging. Besides, due to travel restrictions resulting from Covid-19, open days were limited. And Univiser ambassador was a convenient way of asking our doubts. We could also continue the conversation if we had more doubts whereas on an open day, we just get one or two days to ask all of our doubts. Again, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, messaging is the safest option!

TU: How useful do you think a platform like the one Univiser offers is to new students, such as yourself, especially as of today?
Tharika: For new students and prospects, it is very useful and very helpful to clear specific doubts about their higher education. Since the RIC Univiser ambassadors are related to specific degrees as well as it also saves time rather than the option of saving a slot and traveling to speak to an RIC member physically, through the Univiser platform one can ask all their doubts from the comfort of their homes.

TU: How long did it take on average for your questions to be answered on the platform?
Tharika: My student ambassador, Joanne, answered my questions within the day! There were questions I kept asking her on different days because obviously questions keep coming up, however, within the day of the question being asked, my buddy managed to answer them all.

TU: What pleased you most about the answers you received from your questions?
Tharika: My student ambassador’s answers were very clear and on point.

TU: One advantage we feel Univiser offers is the opportunity for new students, like yourself, to get answers to personal questions they can't find anywhere on the internet or from the university in a quick and easy manner. Would you agree with that? Was there a time an ambassador answered something you couldn’t find elsewhere?
Tharika: Yes, as I mentioned previously, I had a doubt whether the degrees offered at RIC were internal or external, and I couldn’t find an accurate answer to it anywhere. Thankfully, through the help of Joanne that doubt was cleared.

TU: It is interesting to note that once you joined the university, you chose to become an ambassador yourself. What brought about this thought?
Tharika: I did volunteer to become a student buddy because I realized that there are many prospective students just like myself out there, and particularly during the time of making higher education decisions, it could be stressful since there are so many degree options to choose from. And to make even the slightest contribution with the aid of my knowledge along with help of the RIC staff members for the prospects to make informed decisions, it does feel good!

TU: What was it like talking to a peer who understood exactly what you are going through and could offer non-judgemental, unbiased advice?
Tharika: Talking to a peer was less intimidating as we could ask specific questions that the peer will understand since they might have somewhat of the same experience when joining RIC. And also since they have been through the same process of finding a good degree and the registration process. Hence, the student ambassador gets to share that additional knowledge which helps us, prospective students, to make better decisions.

TU: Did you find the ambassador’s insights more valuable than the information offered by the university or what you found on the internet?
Tharika: Yes. I found the student ambassador’s insights more valuable, such as one of my doubts regarding the degrees offered by the Royal Institute of Colombo being internal or external wasn’t stated on the university’s website clearly. Hence, the ambassador’s insight on this one was a very valuable piece of information which helped me to make a more informed decision.

TU: How big a role did the buddy’s knowledge and insight play in your final decision to join this university?
Tharika: The decision on High-ed is something we have to think about in-depth since we are going to invest 3 - 4 years of our time for the degree, so the ambassador’s valuable knowledge and insights did influence me to join RIC along with other factors.

TU: Is there any advice that you would like to give other universities about your experience using this peer-to-peer platform during your decision process and enrolment journey?
Tharika: Having a peer-to-peer platform like Univiser, it is very effective and useful for many students. As prospects can speak to someone who is already studying and enrolled in a university, they can get more information about the degrees as well as the very specific information they are looking for. Additionally, this platform saves a lot of time because if it wasn’t there, we would have to book a slot with someone in the uni and come meet them physically. Or simply one has to wait until the Open Day to clarify all their doubts but through this platform everything is just one click away!

Univiser's peer-to-peer platform provides a safe and easy-to-use forum for prospective students to ask questions and get advice from student student ambassadors, emphasizing the importance of student input in the decision-making process, and connecting students with similar interests.

Our Team got in touch with Univiser's very own Student Ambassador and former prospective student to delve deeper into the benefits of being able to reach out and help prospective students remotely from anywhere and at any time around the globe on Univiser.

We have Joanne, currently a Student Ambassador at Royal Institute of Colombo affiliated to the University of London, along with Tharika, former prospective student looking to enroll at the same University throwing light on some of the key areas from an ambassador’s and prospective student’s view on Univiser using their very own experiences:

Team Univiser (TU): How Long Have You Been A Student Ambassador?
Joanne: I have been a buddy since the introduction of the Student Buddy Program at RIC which was somewhere around 2019. Much less, I was one of the very first buddies!

TU: What made you want to become a Student Ambassador?
Joanne: It was upon the invitation of our teachers asking for volunteers to join this program and help prospective students in making the right higher-ed decision and or even the existing junior students who require additional help as they progress towards the higher levels of their modules by sharing my very own experiences and the wealth of knowledge gained throughout my years of study at Uni.

TU: What do you enjoy about being a Student Ambassador?
Joanne: It is being able to interact with and help students make well-informed decisions by simply bringing out all what I have learnt so far by sharing my knowledge and experiences with them.

TU: Did you use Univiser to talk to an ambassador before you enrolled for university?
If not, how do you think you would have benefitted if you had? Joanne: No. Unfortunately, Univiser didn’t exist the time I was looking to get enrolled in a university back then. It would have benefitted me big time because without Univiser, I had to find contacts of students who were already in the university by going through seniors in school, my parents had to go speak with other parents, and so on . That complexity wouldn’t have existed If I were able to simply login to the university’s website and directly get in touch with a student at the University such as a student ambassador as with Univiser today.

TU: How useful do you think a platform like the one Univiser offers is to new students, such as yourself, especially as of today?
Joanne: In a situation like with the pandemic today where parents or students can’t actually go out to get the numbers of and talk to other parents or students physically face-to-face, having a platform like Univiser is VERY, very helpful! Particularly, in a world we’re more integrated with technology, for instance, we’re having lectures through zoom basically, so why not be able to speak with a student ambassador online as well?!

TU: Would you consider recommending others to become a student ambassador?
Joanne: Yes, I would definitely do so! Since each person has different perspectives and experiences, the more students we have joining as student ambassadors, there’s bigger and better reach for prospective students looking to enroll in the university. Even for the existing juniors, to reach out to more people with different perspectives on the same subject matter means the same thing.

TU: Do you have any advice to others who are not yet ambassadors?
Joanne: For everyone who is not a student ambassador yet, I would totally recommend them to join as one simply because it is all about helping other people. Additionally, as the community grows, it’ll be much more useful in terms of their career in the form of increasing one’s network and networking, which is a crucial part of this generation. While Joanne, the very first student ambassador at RIC, paints a clear picture about the life of a student before and after the introduction of Univiser’s student ambassador program using her very own first-hand experiences, Tharika explicates the hows and whys of the benefits of such a program using her very own experience as a prospective student before enrolling at The Royal Institute of Colombo:

TU: How did you find the platform? Was it easy to use and what did you like about it?
Tharika: I visited the RIC website to find more information about the degree and there was a feature where I could chat with an alumni or a lecturer. It was a very user-friendly interface since you can filter your results according to the type of degree and the type of student ambassador you want to speak to. And you just have to select the ambassador and send a message, it was very easy!

TU: Swapping text messages is becoming more common, especially with the younger generation. Did you prefer it that way? Do you think it has more advantages compared to face-to-back talks on an open day?
Tharika: Yes, I do prefer messaging. Besides, due to travel restrictions resulting from Covid-19, open days were limited. And Univiser ambassador was a convenient way of asking our doubts. We could also continue the conversation if we had more doubts whereas on an open day, we just get one or two days to ask all of our doubts. Again, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, messaging is the safest option!

TU: How useful do you think a platform like the one Univiser offers is to new students, such as yourself, especially as of today?
Tharika: For new students and prospects, it is very useful and very helpful to clear specific doubts about their higher education. Since the RIC Univiser ambassadors are related to specific degrees as well as it also saves time rather than the option of saving a slot and traveling to speak to an RIC member physically, through the Univiser platform one can ask all their doubts from the comfort of their homes.

TU: How long did it take on average for your questions to be answered on the platform?
Tharika: My student ambassador, Joanne, answered my questions within the day! There were questions I kept asking her on different days because obviously questions keep coming up, however, within the day of the question being asked, my buddy managed to answer them all.

TU: What pleased you most about the answers you received from your questions?
Tharika: My student ambassador’s answers were very clear and on point.

TU: One advantage we feel Univiser offers is the opportunity for new students, like yourself, to get answers to personal questions they can't find anywhere on the internet or from the university in a quick and easy manner. Would you agree with that? Was there a time an ambassador answered something you couldn’t find elsewhere?
Tharika: Yes, as I mentioned previously, I had a doubt whether the degrees offered at RIC were internal or external, and I couldn’t find an accurate answer to it anywhere. Thankfully, through the help of Joanne that doubt was cleared.

TU: It is interesting to note that once you joined the university, you chose to become an ambassador yourself. What brought about this thought?
Tharika: I did volunteer to become a student buddy because I realized that there are many prospective students just like myself out there, and particularly during the time of making higher education decisions, it could be stressful since there are so many degree options to choose from. And to make even the slightest contribution with the aid of my knowledge along with help of the RIC staff members for the prospects to make informed decisions, it does feel good!

TU: What was it like talking to a peer who understood exactly what you are going through and could offer non-judgemental, unbiased advice?
Tharika: Talking to a peer was less intimidating as we could ask specific questions that the peer will understand since they might have somewhat of the same experience when joining RIC. And also since they have been through the same process of finding a good degree and the registration process. Hence, the student ambassador gets to share that additional knowledge which helps us, prospective students, to make better decisions.

TU: Did you find the ambassador’s insights more valuable than the information offered by the university or what you found on the internet?
Tharika: Yes. I found the student ambassador’s insights more valuable, such as one of my doubts regarding the degrees offered by the Royal Institute of Colombo being internal or external wasn’t stated on the university’s website clearly. Hence, the ambassador’s insight on this one was a very valuable piece of information which helped me to make a more informed decision.

TU: How big a role did the buddy’s knowledge and insight play in your final decision to join this university?
Tharika: The decision on High-ed is something we have to think about in-depth since we are going to invest 3 - 4 years of our time for the degree, so the ambassador’s valuable knowledge and insights did influence me to join RIC along with other factors.

TU: Is there any advice that you would like to give other universities about your experience using this peer-to-peer platform during your decision process and enrolment journey?
Tharika: Having a peer-to-peer platform like Univiser, it is very effective and useful for many students. As prospects can speak to someone who is already studying and enrolled in a university, they can get more information about the degrees as well as the very specific information they are looking for. Additionally, this platform saves a lot of time because if it wasn’t there, we would have to book a slot with someone in the uni and come meet them physically. Or simply one has to wait until the Open Day to clarify all their doubts but through this platform everything is just one click away!

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