Wed | Feb 24, 2021

Enrolled Jamaica equipping students for university

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2020 | 2:15 PMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Writer
Enrolled Jamaica Managing Director Mikhaial Johnson.
Enrolled Jamaica Managing Director Mikhaial Johnson.

Education consultancy, Enrolled Jamaica, has made it possible for secondary students in Jamaica to receive information from all 80 universities registered with the University Council of Jamaica.

The agency provides a host of free information to assist students with tertiary matriculation from as early as grade nine, where each student is required to select subjects based on their career path.

Managing Director Mikhaial Johnson shared that Career Day is the primary avenue used to communicate tertiary offerings and they have not been very hands-on in providing critical information.

“For career days, in particular, the information isn’t presented in such a way where students readily understand,” he said.

He expressed that students are only exposed to the same set of information that tells them to apply for a student loan or a scholarship to attend one of three universities, but they are not informed of their options and how to go about applying.

“Year after year there are a lot of grants and bursaries that go unclaimed because a lot of persons just don’t know,” he said. “There isn’t much structure in terms of presenting much information to persons.”

Additionally, with the pandemic, students are posed with a challenge as tertiary institutions are not able to visit various schools to inform them of programmes offered and guidance counsellors are not able to fill that gap. Thus, only students that are already enrolled will be receiving information from the institutions.

RALLYING INSTITUTIONS

In light of this, Enrolled Jamaica dispatches content from flyers to webinar invitations, from all registered universities and colleges to provide information for prospective students. The agency also rallies professionals from various financial institutions to provide students with the financial information and skills needed to plan and prepare for university.

“We are targeting all students that will be sitting CXC next year. By the ministry’s number, that’s around 40 to 50,000 that will be eligible for CXC,” Johnson stated.

Importantly, the platform provides screening for the institutions to be able to select students for available offers based on their profiles.

Since the launch in August, Johnson said most students have been inquiring about scholarships and accreditation. He said, “We don’t want to turn their minds from any particular institution, what we want to do is present them with as much content as possible. Most persons are focused on the 10 [institutions] that they know so what we have done is send them a list of all the registered institutions.”

Johnson said they have committed that by next year they will be working alongside international recruiting and marketing agencies to inform Jamaican students of opportunities for enrolment and scholarships.

“We have gone to seminars and conferences with them, we have spoken to recruiters and persons from over 500 higher-education institutions, so we are aware what the situation is overseas in terms of getting persons to enrol into universities,” he said.

jonielle.daley@gleanerjm.com