Education has enabled Rebecca Pretorius to transform others' lives. Picture: SUPPLIED
Education has enabled Rebecca Pretorius to transform others' lives. Picture: SUPPLIED

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we look at how technology is being used in education to help local students enter top international universities such as Harvard in the US or Cambridge in the UK.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Jamie Beaton and Rebecca Pretorius from Crimson Education, an online platform helping students to gain admission into some of the top institutions of higher learning around the world.

Founded in 2013, Crimson has so far managed to raise $67m (about R1.04bn) in capital.

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Using technology, Beaton says their platform allows learners to determine their eligibility for top international schools by inputting their academic credentials and statistics. This data is used to advise people on how to best place themselves for international admission, assisting with classes and academic guidance.

The team at Crimson takes data from admissions specialists from around the world, which is entered into their system and then used to advise how to best place an applicant to a top university, which can then make evaluations.

Beaton, who cofounded the business with two other partners, says it was partly started because of his own experience trying to apply to overseas universities. A native of New Zealand, Beaton says his tertiary career started at the University of Auckland, before he went on complete his studies at Harvard and Stanford in the US.

Pretorius explains that there is a lot of demand in SA for students looking to study abroad. Some students use the opportunity as a stepping stone to ultimately relocate and live outside SA, with others simply looking to gain a different quality of education that can be used back home.

Some people only show an interest in studying overseas after matric, whereas others start planning much sooner. Pretorius says it’s never too early to start the planning process, adding that the best time to start taking the right courses and subjects is in Grade 10.

Beaton and Pretorius also discuss popular study destinations around the world, how well SA’s education system prepares students for international institutions, efforts to aid students with funding and the benefits of attending a top school.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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