Who are you?
Yurika Morita, head of partnerships at Quipper.
What do you do?
We are a London-based EdTech company, founded in 2010, which offers affordable on-line education. We work mainly with students in Japan, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines. In some countries we are used as a private tutoring system, but in others by school teachers using the product as a supplementary resource.
What educational challenge are you trying to address?
Primarily it was solving the problem of access to quality education. Different countries have different needs. For example, in the Philippines they recently changed their curriculum to add two years of education to the compulsory school system, so they needed materials and resources for use in schools which they didn’t manage to develop fast enough.
In Indonesia on the other hand, the issue was to do with their national examinations. To help students especially from rural areas who cannot afford quality tutors to prepare for the exams, Quipper provides video lectures of top teachers from the capital at affordable prices.
We were in Cohort 5 of the EDUCATE programme.
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
The research aspect of the EDUCATE programme was particularly beneficial to us because we applied known concepts such as self-efficacy to improve the student engagement.
It made us think about the quality of our product in a more comprehensive way. We are quite a business-orientated company and most of our managers did not have an educational background, so we began to have more discussions about the educational impact of our services.
For a person with a business background like myself, it made me start to appreciate the evidence-based approach and the knowledge of the academic world in a way I hadn’t done previously. There were people on the EDUCATE programme with that experience who were making us think differently about what we were doing.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
I would say that taking six months out of your product development can seem a long time when you’re a new company who wants to get things moving, so it probably depends on where you are with your company and whether you have the capacity to take time out. For us, it was a great opportunity to network and actively engage, and I think you have to engage fully to get the best out of it. We really appreciated the access to evidence, and this changed the culture within our company.