Jo Johnson named on ApplyBoard advisory board

Published 13/02/2020

Jo Johnson, younger brother of UK prime minister Boris Johnson, has been appointed as the advisory board chairman of the Canadian student recruitment platform ApplyBoard.

Johnson, who was formerly minister of state for universities, science, research, and innovation in the UK government, is already putting together an advisory board for the company.

“[Jo Johnson] has an incredible history when it comes to education”

Ontario-based ApplyBoard claims to have become the world’s largest online platform for international student recruitment, assisting more than 80,000 students.

In 2019, it was named the fastest-growing technology company in Canada by Deloitte, ranking number one on the Technology Fast 50™ list.

“[Jo Johnson] has an incredible history when it comes to education,” said Hannah Cameron, manager of marketing and communications for ApplyBoard.

“Not only as the minister of state for universities, science and innovation but he’s also a fellow at King’s College and Harvard.”

Cameron told The PIE that ApplyBoard was initially attracted to working with Johnson because of his advocacy for the UK’s new post-study work rights.

“He’s spoken a lot about how much he believes international students positively impact your cities, your wealth, your jobs and that is something that we are so adamantly talking about here in Canada.

“We’re trying to help people overcome their stigmas, mainly around international students, and why they are great for an economy.”

In 2019, ApplyBoard secured C$55 million in Series B funding as part of a bid to fuel growth and market expansion.

It’s growth has been rapid. Founded in 2015 by brothers Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri, ApplyBoard has built partnerships with over 1,200 primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.

The company works with 3,500+ recruitment partners and has a team of more than 370, with staff in more than 20 other countries including India, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Nepal and Bangladesh.

“As the chairman the first thing he has been tasked with is building the advisory board. He’s finding the best and brightest people to come and join us, to help the growth and direction of ApplyBoard.

“We need to make sure as we scale very fast, we are getting the best support,” she said.

“I am excited to be joining Canada’s fastest-growing technology company, that is bringing higher education within reach of millions around the world,” said Johnson.

“ApplyBoard is lowering barriers to the transformational benefits education brings, and I can’t wait to help the Basiri brothers, and talented team at ApplyBoard write the next chapter in their incredible story.”

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