international postgraduate students
The MO app will see UCAS play a greater role in attracting and supporting international postgraduate students. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

UCAS has acquired a new multi-language mobile app to support international postgraduate students, agents and advisers to apply for courses in the UK. The acquisition of the MO University Assistant app will support up to 150,000 students who start their postgraduate courses each year.  

According to UCAS, there are 450,000 international students studying in the UK; the organisation is the largest single channel for international recruitment — with over 70,000 international students (EU and non-EU) using its services to apply for undergraduate study each year.

MO started out as a scholarship search platform and morphed to offer personalised student support, including matching students to postgraduate courses and enabling multiple direct applications. It offers a complete profile of UK universities and colleges, as well as providing accommodation and employment tools, with tailored support in 15 languages. MO will be a wholly-owned commercial enterprise by UCAS. 

Mark Felix, Commercial Director at MoneySupermarket Group, sits on the UCAS Board and will chair the new MO Board. “International student recruitment is highly competitive and competitor countries have long been snapping at our heels to attract international students,” he says. “If we are to deliver on the UK’s international education strategy to increase international students from around 450,000 to more than 600,000, business as usual is not going to cut it.”

UCAS Chief Digital and Data Officer Aaron Powell, who will act as Managing Director for MO in the UCAS Group, said, “We know students make multiple applications to different institutions in different countries. We believe a single postgraduate gateway, under the trusted UCAS brand dedicated to UK higher education, will enhance the UK’s competitiveness, and provide students and agents with unrivalled support throughout their application journey.”

He added that the app allows for a streamlined application process, eliminating the need to complete multiple applications across different forms, or spend hours searching for course information, scholarships, accommodation, and employment, in different places.

The MO app will see UCAS play a greater role in attracting and supporting international postgraduate students. UCAS is an independent charity providing information, advice, and admissions services for UK universities.