TWO best friends and recent Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates from UCC have developed software designed to help Leaving Cert students select their ideal college course.
Darragh Lucey and Nathan Mayes decided to take a year to travel after graduating with the ultimate goal of returning home to start a business together in mind before they set off.
While visiting Cambodia, they saw an article written about the increasing number of students dropping out of college.
It was something that resonated with the two as they had seen it first-hand in their own college course.
The duo quickly set to work to see if they could make use of their engineering backgrounds to tackle the global dropout problem and came up with YOONI.
YOONI is a software platform designed to help Leaving Cert students pick their ideal course with bespoke assessment technology that analyses a student’s academics, personality and interests to generate personalised course recommendations and insights.
The system uses both Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics in helping students to identify the courses where they will most likely flourish.
It also allows students to research courses, fill out a practice CAO form and connect with guidance counsellors.
Supported by the IGNITE program in UCC and Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers, YOONI was launched in Cork earlier this year and has already successfully helped Leaving Cert students from over 100 schools choose their appropriate college courses.
"In Irish Colleges, the dropout rate in the first year is 14% while a total of 25% of students drop out before graduation.
"Studies show that 60% of these dropouts are due to students choosing the wrong course.
"We developed YOONI from the ground up, in collaboration with guidance counsellors and other experts in both education and technology fields, to bridge the void between the traditional guidance system and modern career guidance technology," Nathan said.
"Where we differ is that we use anonymised past graduate data to match current Leaving Cert students with the best courses for them, based on their Leaving Cert subjects and their predicted results in those subjects," Darragh added.