The last year for any high-school/secondary school student is extremely stressful, mostly due to the life-changing decisions that must be made regarding university applications and acceptances. Which universities should you apply to? What should your applications look like? The questions are endless.
Even though Pakistan has over 70% of it’s population classified as the “youth”, and has 100s of HEC-recognized universities, there are no online tools to help students find the right college for them. Enter, Meri Taleem.
Meri Taleem is the central hub for all information related to universities and colleges, courses and affiliations, rankings, degree types, scholarships and admissions info. It is the one-stop every student must make while looking at higher education options in Pakistan. Usama Shahid Khan is credited as the main force behind the platform. He is also a co-founder at Cloud9.
“MeriTaleem.com is a central information and career counseling platform for students in Pakistan. Pakistan is the 6thlargest population in the world. We have over 70% of the population categorized as youth out of which a sizeable number attends colleges and universities for different non-degree/degree programs on a full/part-time basis. We have over 150 HEC-recognized universities/colleges and over 2000 affiliated colleges/institutes that are involved in imparting quality education to the general public. Other than this we have hundreds of institutes/colleges which are involved in delivering short-courses, trainings, certifications, diploma courses and workshops in order to educate and train the students in various study fields and domains. This calls for a need for a centralized platform that provides comprehensive information on all types of study courses and colleges/universities available in Pakistan for the students to benefit from.”
What The Platform Offers
The platform has several features, and we decided to write a bit about all of them for you.
Future students will be able to look through job trends in the industries they are interested in, as well as look at the different fields of study and admissions requirements for different universities. The platform also has information on scholarships, study abroad programs (as well as information on visas), and career counseling.
This section is the easiest way to find the right university or college by searching for the program you are interested in, or the city you hope to study in.
While still incomplete, this section will help students choose between colleges based on rankings. Currently, there is no transparency on how these rankings are determined, and many large universities that have multiple degree options (such as LUMS) seem to be missing from certain categories. However, the company is still populating this list, and it could be extremely useful when choosing the best college for a specific specialization (for example, medicine or law).
According to the website,
“These rankings are based on HEC’s grading criteria, graduates’ employability ratio and industry feedback. We have also consulted leading education experts in the country in making these rankings for your convenience.”
The platform’s most unique element is the forum section which serves as it’s own social network. Sign up and you can talk to other, like-minded, students looking to get into programs similar to yours. Network, share information and ideas, or even read through what the others are saying. This is a great way to connect with other people in the same situation as yourself, and something that no other website offering information about universities is bound to have.
Why We Love It
Before the Internet was widely available, the only way to get information on colleges and universities was from school counselors. Once the Internet became more widely available, you could search foreign universities but very few Pakistani universities had complete information on admissions or scholarships available easily. This has obviously changed with MeriTaleem. The platform has the potential to turn into a hub for all kinds of information about universities in the country. Admissions, scholarships, information on housing, costs, degrees and programs; it can all be made available to students. The forums could be an excellent way for students applying to the same program to connect before they are even aware of acceptances. This allows them to build networks before they start their education.
The platform also offers plenty of resources, articles and guidance for helping students get through the tough admission process. Expert members on the website provide career guidance to make sure you are headed in the right direction based on your aptitude, and you can even get specialized answers to your questions.
We’re hopeful that the platform will grow into more than just a place to get information on universities. Information about other degree programs, such as accreditations for professionals or even workshops, would be a welcome addition. The platform has the potential to become the first stop anyone looking to re-enter a classroom would make on the web.