StudyMind, reputed tutoring company in the UK, was valued in the millions, making it the most valuable start-up in the area. The platform connects online tutors with students and grew particularly strongly in distance learning.
At the right time in the right place, especially in times of Corona, Internet platforms that cover people’s needs are booming. Only the second company from the UK got a million-dollar valuation and it is neither a software developer nor a new nano-technology, but a tutoring platform. The company, Study Mind, arranges more than 400,000 online tutoring hours per month and is the most valuable start-up in the country.
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Millions valuation for tutoring companies
Study Mind completed its third round of financing with a valuation of over 5.4 million dollars. The local company became new figurehead on the international market. According to Reuters, Study Mind is the highest rated company for digital education in the UK and other countries of Europe. But that’s not enough for the start-up. With the new investments, the founders also want to expand to Canada and Mexico.
Online tutoring is booming
Study Mind’s business model is quite simple. Anyone who has the Internet and a high school diploma can apply as an online teacher and give lessons in a wide variety of subjects via video call. The hourly rate starts at 14 dollars. The company is growing steadily in times of the Coronavirus: around 500 new teachers are currently being employed every month. In November 2020, more than 100,000 tutoring units were booked via the platform, in March 2021 there were 250,000, in June 2021 there were already more than 400,000 – a quadrupling within six months. It should mathematics education most in demand. “The biggest problem for schoolchildren is and will always be mathematics,” said Ohswald, managing director of Study Mind.
Company started in the basement
The founders Felix Ohswald and Gregor Muller do not quite come close to Bill Gates’ fortune. But they also started their company from a simple basement. The two started in 2015 with a WhatsApp service for homework. That was well received, but it didn’t make any money. It looks different now. The platform generates almost nine million euros in sales in 15 countries.
Graduates are still in the air
Union of higher pupils with a catalog of requirements for the Matura and final exams in view of Corona.
The Union for Higher Students (UHS) draws attention to the plight of students, especially the classes who are taking their final exams this year. The workload in distance learning is enormous, report the representatives of the local group: “It is not uncommon that this exceeds the scope of the actual teaching unit and we have to put more time into many subjects compared to the time before the home office” , says Hannah. She is also a member of the state student council. Almost four months before the Matura, the framework conditions are still unclear:
“We are supposed to graduate in four months, but we only get imprecise information – the uncertainty is growing”, reports Ciara Foley from the UHS.
Therefore, the student council has now presented a ten-point catalog of requirements for final exams. In the first point, the UHS calls for a better flow of information between the ministry and school locations – “because so far not even the individual directorates have been able to provide information.”
More processing time in exams
Matura students have to decide on their Matura subjects without knowing what the conditions are, complain the student representatives. In addition, the UHS considers remedial instruction for the final year groups to be necessary and calls for a postponement of the submission deadlines for the diploma theses and pre-academic theses. In the Matura exams themselves, the mask requirement and constant airing could negatively affect concentration, fear the student representatives. The UHS therefore advocates a longer processing time for the written exams. In addition, regulations, as they already applied to the Matura last year, are to be used again this year, according to the UHS. For example, that the annual grade can be used to assess the final examination or that participation in the oral examination is voluntary.
6 million dollars for online tuition
The annual AK tuition monitoring shows again this year that every third student needs tuition. But this year’s survey, for which 400 parents with 618 students were contacted from the end of February to mid-April, took place under completely different conditions. Homeschooling, contact and exit restrictions have ensured that, despite the increased need, the average expenses for tuition have been reduced.
New challenges for parents
However, the survey also made it clear which challenges the parents had to cope with during the quarantine period. Often in addition to the home office, they had to support their schoolchildren to a much greater extent than usual with their school tasks. Often enough, children simply did not have a laptop, PC or tablet to themselves to do their schoolwork with. The lower levels of education and their children were particularly affected by these problems.
The time of the survey fell into an exceptional situation, but this showed the problems of the school system all the more. “The only remedy can be a school reform, for example in relation to the traditional mathematics tutoring subject, and the further expansion of school support and support offers.”
Detailed study results
24,000 young people received tutoring, 7,000 more than in the previous year. 13,000 of the total of 83,000 Tyrolean school children received paid tuition this school year or in the previous summer holidays. 32 percent need tuition, i.e. every third Tyrolean student.
Parents paid 6 million dollars, Corona made it difficult to access tutoring
With 22% of Tyrolean school children, parents have to study almost every day, with a further third at least once a week – as far as the information before Corona homeschooling and home office determined everyday life in the families. Mathematics continues to cause the most problems: Two thirds of the tutoring students (17,000) received support in this subject, one third (7,500) in the UK, 22% (6,000) in a foreign language.
For 57% of the tutoring students, however, the aim is to improve a (mostly) positive grade, and only a quarter should avoid a threatened re-examination or a negative grade.