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Study Advisory

Study Advisory aims to become the most popular service for searching for universities. With our service, comparing and finding a university is effortless. We connect former, current and future students with universities in an advanced way.

Our story

The success of Study Advisory is based on the people who work for it and their passion towards education and innovative solutions. We founded a company in 2007 called Asia Exchange, which is the world's biggest student exchange organization specializing in Asia. Asia Exchange moves thousands of people. Now, with the help of Study Advisory, we want to move thousands more.

Study Advisory was founded in 2014 when the founder of Asia Exchange, Tuomas Kauppinen, stated his vision to his friend Harri Suominen about a new kind of online university ranking system based on the students' interests. After founding the company we started building our team, looking for a creator for the service and partner universities. In the spring of 2015 the members of each area had been found and the service was launched in September. Even before the launch of our service, we had ties with our first customer relationships from universities in Finland and Asia.

Education is the key to solving the biggest problems of the world. The amount of young people who are looking for a university education is increasing, and increasingly, more of them are looking to apply to study abroad. Finding the most suitable option of education is, however, difficult and competition between students for universities is tough.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela

Service and Benefits

Our service benefits both universities and students who are searching for universities in a highly cost-effective way. Our service's technical creation has been delivered by Vincit, which was selected as the best place to work in Finland in 2016.

We help students to find the most suitable education options and universities to find the best student prospects worldwide. We utilize student reviews as a way of forming a new and more meaningful university ranking.

Our database is the largest in the world. We provide the information and student reviews of nearly 12,000 universities. We consider factors affecting the choice of university and we invest in user-friendliness.

A New Revolutionary University Ranking

When comparing universities, students give the most weight towards the feedback of other students on the quality of teaching, but also towards the comfort of the campus and the level of internationality. The meaning of studying is much more than a name on a degree certificate or the university's name on a resume. It is also the comfort on campus and in the city of the university, the feeling of security and spending unforgettable moments with one’s student friends. Study Advisory offers a solution by providing the chance to get to know other students' feedback of universities worldwide. We are "the TripAdvisor of universities".

Student reviews form a new university rating; the Study Advisory Popularity ranking, which will rise in importance next to the most used university rankings as a new way of comparing universities. This way, we gain visibility for those thousands of universities who do not get visibility in academic rankings that list only a fraction of the world's universities.

The amounts of reviews given by students are rising. In the last two weeks of April 2016 alone, there were 3000 reviews submitted to our service.

We also support charity. For each student review, we donate to UNESCO for a campaign supporting children's education. In the future, we will also include in our service a platform that will help individuals and universities find opportunities to do charity.

Affordable

Universities have a chance to get more visibility than just a basic profile in our service with a clear and affordable yearly fee. Our revenue generation model is also based on this.

Our pricing does not only target the most wealthy university budgets, but it’s also attractive to universities of smaller and developing countries. With only the budget of a single trip abroad for one person, a university can cover its visibility in Study Advisory for a year.

We are clearly the most affordable and effective place for university marketing.

A Finnish Success Story

Finland, and our competence in education, has an excellent reputation globally. Study Advisory wants to be the flagship of the education industry abroad. This also creates a strong foundation for the success story of Study Advisory, our universities and our investors.

“Study Advisory is one of the most promising start-ups I have seen, and I gladly recommend you to consider a partnership with them.”
Ms. Emilia A. Tavakoli, General Manager of the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

Our business & market situation

Our business and market situation

Education is already one of the world’s biggest industries. The markets are changing rapidly, and there is a big demand for an innovative approach for student recruitment. Student mobility and digitalization are today’s megatrends, and we here at Study Advisory want to combine them.

In 2014, there were 17,325 Finnish students going abroad. At the same time, there were 459,800 Chinese students going abroad, with an annual growth of 11%. Germany’s objective is that 20% of the country’s 3 million students will study abroad in 2020. On a global level, the amount of students studying abroad has more than doubled to 4,5 million between the years of 2000-2011. In 2014, the amount of students studying abroad was already over 5 million, and the growth continues rapidly.

There are currently over 18,000 universities in the world, and only about 3% of them can be found from traditional portals or rankings. However, most of the young people who are looking for a place to study want to find more information on mid-range institutions and not only the top-ranked ones. Beside study possibilities abroad, young people naturally also need information about opportunities on a national level. They want to be able to easily find and share information. We offer a solution to these needs.

Visibility for everyone

Study Advisory offers both visibility and a new way of ranking the universities who are behind their top-level competitors in traditional academic rankings. In these universities the teaching, services, admissions criteria and tuition fees are much more suitable for most of todays students. There is currently no similar service which is easy to use, lists universities from each country or allows its users to compare universities not only by their academic success but also by other criteria.

Market Demand

  • In the age of globalization, free market economy and the Internet, universities have become much more international and the competition to attract new students is becoming harder.
  • Student mobility has become an international megatrend.
  • Many countries are investing in more marketing and visibility for their universities. University marketing budgets can be up to 20% of their total revenue.
  • Universities want to find suitable and committed students who are motivated to finish their degrees.
  • The expectations of students towards universities have risen.
  • There is a big need for a global web-based service for comparing universities.

Solution

We have the world’s largest and most advanced database of universities and a search engine that helps:

  • Students to find the most suitable place to study in their own country or abroad.
  • Current students and alumni to share their experiences with future students.
  • Universities to reach the best possible students by offering information in a modern way, as well as on a platform created for affordable and practical marketing.

Marketing for different interest groups

In our marketing we consider the differences of different interest groups and use the most effective methods for these groups. Here are the channels of marketing and communications described for different target groups:

Universities and high schools

  • Direct personal contacting (email, calls, meetings)
  • Mass contacting emails
  • Webinars
  • Presence in events
  • Universities recommendations to their partners
  • The efforts of agents and freelancer sales people for commission

Students

  • Search engine optimisation

  • Search engine marketing

  • Collaboration with student unions and other student organizations

  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Universities communication on the service to their students
  • Word of mouth

We have attracted customers from three continents in a short timespan. Our customers include for example:

Aalto University, Finland

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

Curtin University, Australia

Our team

Our team

Our team is a seamless combination of competence and humbleness, experience and youth, as well as ambition and result-orientedness. We come from different areas of competence, and our unifier is the will to create a new success story from our business. We are professionals with thousands of university connections, who understand the world of students.

Tuomas Kauppinen

Chairman of the board

Strong professional in international business, business management and entrepreneurship. Founder and owner of the 2007 founded education service company, Asia Exchange Ltd. 10 years of experience in working with higher education institutions. Determined and diverse entrepreneur personality, who sets goals high and strives to achieve these. Strong knowledge in growing Asian markets. Education of Master of Business Administration from three continents, including Europe, Asia and North-America. https://hk.linkedin.com/in/tuomaskauppinen

Harri Suominen

Sales Director

Professional of marketing and sales. Co-founder and owner of Asia Exchange. Understanding of higher education world on global level, market researches about education in Europe, USA and Asia. Skilled networker. Persistent, idea rich and customer oriented, who does not fear taking risks, as long as these are managed. https://fi.linkedin.com/in/harri-suominen-68176670

Susanne Suominen

Managing Director

Expert in business management, taxation and entrepreneurship. Understanding of all-around business economy with ability to make decisions about this independently and self-initiatively. Long-term and dedicated way of working. Diligent and responsible personality, who assures that projects are completed.

Antti Järvensivu

Technical Director

Business information management, industrial economy and information systems multi-professional. Information storage and reporting projects, as well as other information system projects for 10 years. Understanding of succeeding and failing in system projects, acquiring the right kind of competence and directing this. Ability to find solutions in the more demanding situations. https://fi.linkedin.com/in/antti-järvensivu-1011151

Maria Lahtinen

Relationship Manager

Expert in marketing, sales and international operations. Experience of numerous international projects. Sales trainer. Many successful marketing campaigns. A strong professional of travel industry, inspiring communicator, result-oriented and determined sales director and a master networker.