KARACHI: If global market sources are to be believed multimillion EDTech company INTCAS is set to begin operations in Pakistan from January 2020.
The technology that is the backbone of INTCAS is Artificial Intelligence, developed by founder Zakaria Mahmood, a second generation British Pakistani who describes the company as a ‘discovery engine’ where students are able to search for various courses at different institutions internationally, undertake psychometric testing to determine the best courses for the applicant based on their results, get help in applying for the often long and difficult visa process as well as ensuring that all financial transactions are clear and transparent.
An increase of investment over the past decade in Pakistan’s education sector has led to reforms throughout the country from primary all the way to tertiary education, with a great emphasis on girls education.
There are currently some 50,000 students from Pakistan studying abroad, the vast majority of whom choose to undertake their degrees in institutions in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. These join a long list of notable Pakistani’s who have studied abroad, most notably Founding Father Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Prime Ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and daughter Benazir Bhutto and incumbent Imran Khan at Oxford University as well as it’s two Noble Laureates Dr. Abdus Salam and Malala Yousef among many others.
The announcement to begin operations in Pakistan comes after the UK government announced the removal of a controversial law that placed a four month time limit on students to leave the UK after graduation to being able to obtain two year work visa. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, in Pakistan 65% of the generation is under the age of twenty five, and graduate unemployment is estimated at 28% Students are now able to complete their education and remain in the UK to find work and gain crucial work experience in the beginning of their careers that will help set them apart from the competitive workforce in Pakistan
The interesting bit here is that the INTCAS operates a system of checks against fraudulent behavior, all parties involved in the process have their credentials authenticated to ensure genuine operations take place from banking to prevent money laundering to Universities to ensure they are legitimate educational establishments. As well as checks on applicants to ensure they are legitimate students and not applying to simply work in a foreign country.
The general manager of INTCAS Turkey, Tanju Zerrin, where operations began in 2018 describes the business as “INTCAS offers many different options for students to study abroad. They can support them in almost every step before, during and after the application. For example, services such as foreign language test preparation, career planning and counseling, preparation for school entrance exams, and personal development courses help young people to go to their dream school fully equipped. We also help young people finance their education by providing access to special scholarships”.
An emphasis of INTCAS is working with local partners, university recruiters are while often knowledgeable, sometimes not working in the students best interests as they may have dealings with certain universities and colleges to assure them a certain quota of students, this is avoided with INTCAS as the goal is getting the student the best possible results based on their requirements.