UCL co-creates innovative resources platform for international school counsellors

An innovative content sharing and best practice platform that will offer advice and guidance to international school counsellors, tasked with advising the brightest global students on university and career selection, is to be co-created by UCL.

Led by Times Higher Education, the THE Counsellor is being developed with a steering group of four founding partners including UCL, UCAS, Unifrog and Huron University.

THE Counsellor, anticipated to launch in late 2023, will focus on peer-to-peer content-sharing for counsellors by counsellors and enable them to connect with peers around the world where they can share advice, lesson plans and best practice. This will be complemented by a wealth of resources and advisory materials shared by the partners.

Katja Lamping, Director of Student Recruitment at UCL, said: "At UCL we work closely with international school counsellors, and year-after-year see the fantastic contribution they make to their students’ journey to higher education.

"This exciting new initiative will help better connect peers and share best practice, across this globally dynamic community and we look forward to working with THE and the other founding partners to create something truly transformative."

Patrick Hayes, THE’s Chief Development Officer, said: "With counsellors very much in the driving seat, we are aiming to build the definitive resources platform for counsellors looking for advice and best practise when it comes to advising students on career and university selection.

"We want this to be a global collaboration and identified Huron, UCL, UCAS and Unifrog as our dream collaborators due to their highly innovative engagement with the sector. We are honoured these prestigious organisations agreed to work with us, alongside our Learning Partner Common Purpose, to develop this exciting new initiative."

The platform will be designed to complement the recently launched THE Counsellor Accreditation Programme, developed in partnership with leadership development provider Common Purpose, who will sit on the steering group as the Learning Partner on the platform. The first cohort of THE Accredited Counsellors are set to graduate this week, having participated in a week of intensive professional development. The programme will scale further when the digital platform is launched, enabling counsellors to become accredited entirely online.

Helping to drive THE Counsellor’s development will be THE’s International Schools Advisory Board, which features globally renowned high school counsellors working across four continents.

Chris Kirk, Director of UCAS International, explained: "The role of a counsellor is pivotal in ensuring internationally mobile students and their parents can navigate the choice and complexity of options across the globe. As the market continues to grow each year, more and more new counsellors will be required.

"UCAS’ involvement will help ensure that the UK remains a primary destination of choice and that new and existing counsellors have the confidence, tools and content to help students make informed decisions and can successfully secure their place in any of the UK’s world-class higher education providers," Chris added.

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