First -year incoming students have always found ways to connect with each other before starting university, especially through social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now, a new application is trying to enter that market, promoting connections between incoming students and at the same time let the administrators join their conversations.

UNIBUDY, a student recruitment platform for higher education, launched a new product last month called Community, which is an application that connects first -year students admitted and incoming with chat rooms grouped together Dedicated to different interests or identities, including sports, music, race and sexuality. A community is formed when an institution's admission officers invite freshly admitted or committed students to download the Unibuddy application. Once students enroll in the community, they can add their interests and find relevant groups to those who want to join, groups created by the institution or added by other students.

Nina Bilimoria Angelo, Chief of Marketing and Marketing of Unibuddy the strategy officer, said that until now more than 400 institutions worldwide, including the University of Indiana in Bloomington and Marymount Manhattan College, they are using The community function of Unibuddy.

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students already know how connect with your classmates. Even before they step on the campus, many join class groups or Instagram pages and share their handles for Snapchat, Tiktok and Twitter. Diego Fanara, CEO and co -founder of Unibuddy, said the company created a community because students are avoiding Facebook, and Instagram and other applications do not allow users to form chat rooms from large groups. In addition, the Unibuddy platform allows new students to connect not only with other incoming first year students but also with current administrators, teachers and students, which is more difficult to do on social networks.

"We are recreating WhatsApp and Facebook groups, but in a closer and safer environment, especially because we know the new generation, they are not on Facebook," said Fanara.

The site also allows administrators to monitor the application to ensure that a "safe space" remains, Fanara and Bilimoria Angelo said. Bilimoria Angelo said that administrators can jump to a conversation and eliminate or block students from chat rooms if they are being inappropriate, which is also more difficult to do on traditional social networks.

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"We are going to have authentic connections and conversations between them and let them find their people and find their interests and explore the life of the campus through the eyes of current students, through the eyes of other futures Students, "said Bilimoria Angelo. "But then we also allow the monitoring of the application by an administrator to ensure that it remains a safe and safe space for students to have those authentic conversations."

Data privacy in We Through the use of information technology, by email that applications such as the Unibuddy community are part of a growing tendency of higher education institutions using data and analysis to monitor and improve the results of students.

According to a 2020 Educause Student Survey, most students feel comfortable with institutions that use their personal data to help them achieve their academic objectives. However, some students care that institutions badly use their personal data.

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