OpenApply was excited to host our third virtual conference, fourteenth overall, on November 10-12, 2021. We were thrilled to welcome around 179 attendees from over 59 countries and 116 schools all over the world.
The theme of this conference was Admissions & Identity, and the schedule was broken down into sessions led by Admissions Professionals and OpenApply. We designed the event to be as engaging and interactive as possible to encourage exchanges between all attendees. We aimed to bring the Admissions Community together to share best practices and experiences on planning admissions strategies going forward.
Below is an overview of the topics covered during the conference. Besides the presentations and workshops, the attendees enjoyed the networking opportunities, with active group discussions or one-on-one chats.
During the Welcoming Remarks, OpenApply Director and SVP, Systems MacKenzie Murray shared a company update. See below to find out everything Faria and OpenApply have been busy working on and what to expect in the coming academic year:
- Kat Ngkaion and Nick Biblis from Jakarta Intercultural School kicked off the professional development with an interactive session on personalising communication strategies with different groups, especially those that do not speak English as their first language.
- Catalina Gardescu from American International School of Bucharest reflected on recognising biases and breaking down myths of parents and the admissions office.
- T.K. Ostrom from United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) and Câline Fonteneau from KIS International School, Bangkok connected the user experience with marketing as a “whole-school perspective”.
- Claudine Hakim from International School of London, Courtney Knight from International School of Paris, and Julia True from International School of Amsterdam discussed effective transitions with interdepartmental support structures throughout the school.
- Prasanth Kakaraparthi from Kodaikanal International School provided practical tips for cultivating and maintaining a school’s cultural identity.
- Bekah Dawson from Oasis International School – Kuala Lumpur and Debbie Eisenach from Finalsite presented on how to optimise collaboration between a school’s admissions and marketing team.
- Heidi Reid from IDAT discussed how admissions testing can be used beyond the admissions decision to help guide a new student’s transition to a new school.
- Our OpenApply team also provided various workshops over the three days to support schools in getting more from their OpenApply system.
We greatly appreciate the contributions from all of the speakers, and all recordings and resources are shared with the attendees after the conference.
What attendees have said!
“I’m enjoying that we have the possibility of not having to forgo this enriching experience despite our current health situation. While the face-to-face conference includes the very dynamic and positive social dimension, this format is ideal for our busy schedules and allows for enrichment, learning and inspiration from the “comfort of our homes”, so to speak.” – Praline Hudson, European International School of Barcelona
“Personally and professionally beneficial, it inspired me to keep reviewing our practices and keep up with developments ” – Sue Farmer, International School of Uganda
“Great to see everyone, pick up valuable tips and feel invigorated to get back to work and improve some of our practices.” – Anna Fessler, International School of Lausanne (ISL)
“I love OA’s conferences. It always shows me there’s so much room for growth and improvement. As efficient as our system is, I always leave the conference with new ideas to improve student/parent experiences. Always an eye opener.” – Hania Juma, American Community School Jordan
“I had attended the last conference in Shanghai. This one was really gripping. Thanks to all the organisers and speakers for bringing up the same issues as we all facing in today’s virtual world. Thank you for putting up all the relevant talks and discussions together. I was able to learn a lot. Will look forward to next 🤗👍🏼” – Deepali Joshi, The British School, New Delhi
We thank everyone who joined us this time for being generous with their ideas and experiences, and we hope to see you at our next conference!
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