Published: 27th September 2021
This Norwegian start-up is taking indian students to their dream study destinations abroad
Functioning during a pandemic-stricken year seems to have been a cakewalk for this EdTech start-up that has enabled 18,000 students from around the world to study abroad. We check it out
Paul Kvalheim believes that talent is evenly distributed across the globe, even though opportunities for higher education remain skewed and imbalanced. Registered in Chandigarh and headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Dfavo is another addition to the gamut of EdTech firms popping up in India. The start-up, which began operations in September 2020, facilitates students who wish to study abroad. Although the idea was born out of co-founder Harinder Aulakh’s observations in his hometown of Chandigarh, where a large number of young students were fishing for opportunities to pursue higher studies in foriegn lands, particularly Canada, the platform has grown to support students seeking an overseas education, worldwide.
Co-founder Paul says that what sets them apart is the “human touch", which allows candidates at every stage of the application to get the right direction and advice from their team of experts who sit in Chandigarh. Apart from the technical team that develops the platform, there are study advisors who are experts in different universities and courses and an admissions team that handles the application process for the students. Paul believes this is an overall technical solution that connects recruiters and students and educational institutions.
Dfavo recently signed an agreement with a Ukrainian university that offers Medicine. There is no tuition fee, thus making it an attractive option from a financial perspective
So, where are these students headed? According to Paul, a majority of the 10,000 Indian students that they have connected with are heading to Canada, the USA and the UK. And while Engineering and Management remain the top two courses, quite a few students are looking at opportunities for vocational training in fields such as nursing.
The firm observes the completion of one year of operations this year and while that panned out in the middle of a world shackled by the pandemic, it doesn’t seem as if the enthusiasm for overseas education has taken a hit among the students. And while the processing of the applications has been taking a lot longer now, Paul says. “COVID hasn't changed the kind of education students are looking for. They are eager to travel and live abroad. Studying from home is not viable for them and they are looking to study abroad, work part-time and form connections from all over the world."
Apart from helping Indian students find their destinations abroad, the firm is also looking at bringing students from various countries to India for their higher education and they believe that India is gradually developing into a decent destination for students from Europe too. Paul also claims that they were one of the firsts to bring African students to India once the travel restrictions started to ease up.