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FundiMatch: Transforming education outcomes by helping students make informed choices

by Leigh Callipolitis
3 minutes read

In an era where educational choices have profound – and far-reaching – consequences, how can students be better guided towards making the right career and vocational choices for them? With so many subject options available, where do they start? And how can they be guided to make the ideal choice for them as individuals? Enter FundiMatch: a personalised psychometric offering launched by Fundi to guide and empower students towards the right future for them…

At the start of the academic year, many students are still making pivotal decisions about their academic journey: what subjects to choose and what study path to follow. “Data shows that most are unfortunately ill-equipped to make these decisions – with current first year drop-out rates at universities of 50 – 60% revealing the alarming reality of misaligned or misinformed choices,” notes Benedict Johnson, Executive Head: EBS and New Initiatives at Fundi. 

He notes the life consequences of these choices – ranging from a “best case” scenario of having to switch subjects and repeat or make up part of a year, all the way through to stepping out into the world with a substantial student debt and no qualification. “As a solutions provider in this space, we were challenged to better understand how we could positively influence these choices and assist students without access to a guidance or career counsellor to help themselves. FundiMatch is our direct response.” 

Accessible to students through the FundiConnect website, FundiMatch is a comprehensive psychometric assessment platform tailored to individual students’ strengths, interests, and aspirations. Testing everything from learning preferences to entrepreneurial tendencies, the tool provides students with a comprehensive report about themselves: giving them a much better understanding of who they are and who they aren’t, highlighting the best possible futures for them. 

Johnson notes that market testing of the tool has been overwhelmingly positive. “We conducted extensive research, directly engaging 661 students and 35 educators across all nine provinces to better understand the pressing need for support in academic and career guidance. The tool’s impact became evident with 85.2% of students and all educators surveyed highlighting its potential to transform learners’ decision-making process – and career choices – significantly, and for the better.”

One of the key findings from the research was the critical importance of early intervention: “Grade 9 emerged as the ideal starting point for psychometric testing, aligning with the period when learners start really thinking about their future careers and making corresponding subject choices. By intervening at this point, students get clear direction while alleviating the stress associated with subject choices.”

Of real interest though, was that urban and rural students face the same challenges in making informed decisions. “In regions where resources are limited, this tool becomes an invaluable asset, ensuring that every student, regardless of their location, has access to comprehensive career guidance – and a sounding board about their future when they need it most.”

With 71.4% of students surveyed agreeing that receiving career guidance personally tailored to their personality traits and interest was very important, Fundi discovered that most turn to teachers, friends and family for assistance. They also spend a lot of time researching options on the internet. “This is because they’re looking for holistic guidance. They want to make the right decisions as soon as they can for themselves. We believe that FundiMatch will take them a critical step closer towards this decision: reducing anxiety and giving empowering clarity about what positive steps to take next. We’re excited about what it means for the future of students across the country,” Johnson concludes. 

FundiMatch is now available on www.fundiconnect.co.za.

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