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"5 reasons why Alumni relations are essential to higher education institutions"
"Where should I study?"
"Which institution is going to secure a good quality of education and a successful career?"
"What have become Alumni who graduated from this University?"
Do you know how many Universities, Colleges and Schools have mushroomed within the past decades worldwide? Students have plenty of choices when choosing the best and most promising one. This is namely why Alumni relations have become a strategic asset for any kind of higher education institution willing to stand out from the domestic and international competition.
An organization’s alumni are the reflection of its past, representation of its present and a link to its future.
Educational institutions are changing the way they see and interact with their alumni community. Earlier, alumni and their alma-mater were treated as separate entities wherein one’s existence was independent of the other. Local alumni chapters were formed as a means to interact with other fellow alumni. However, these associations seldom had any interaction with the institution they graduated from.
With the advent of Social Media, alumni relationship has taken a different flavour altogether. Universities have started to harness the power of alumni through various networking platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc. by creating their alumni groups and profiles on them.
Here are 5 reasons why Alumni relations are essential to higher education institutions:
1. Recruit students
Where did ultra high-net-worth individuals (UHNW) study? According to Wealth-X "World Ultra Wealth Report" from 2014, 5% of the world's educated UHNW individuals have attended the top ten universities which are all located in the United States (University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Columbia University, New York University, MIT, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Yale University and Cornell University).
Alumni network has a real life benefit for current students. Alumni also donate their valuable time to offer career support to current students. This enhances the students’ experience and give them that competitive edge in today’s tough job market. The alumni network of a college is one of the biggest sources of placement opportunities to the students. Alumni can help students get placed at their respective organizations.
2. Promote your training
If you are not part of the top 10 or 20 universities in the world, you can still make the best out of Alumni relations to promote your institution and its high quality education.
In order to do so, you can get international accreditation, such as the AMBA accreditation, the Equis Standard and the AACSB accreditation, provided you have included Alumni relations in your development strategy.
"A well-established and active association of MBA Alumni is expected, which provided tangible networking and lifelong learning opportunities for its members".
3. Boost employment
Your students have a hard time finding their first position as junior Alumni?
Get senior Alumni involved in the professional integration of students. They share common values and education, why not hire them instead of unknown applicants? It also applies to senior Alumni willing to retrain or change career!
You could also implement a mentor/mentee relationship management tool to help junior Alumni get in touch with experienced Alumni willing to share their expertise and best practices in a given field. Senior Alumni might as well be willing to learn new skills from junior Alumni.
4. Encourage donations
In February 2014, Hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin (Harvard promotion 89) donated $150 million to Harvard and directed at least $125 million of the gift to support financial aid at the College.
Again, it speaks for itself! If not several millions, you could still gather a few thousands from you Alumni if they are grateful for the services you have provided and if they feel involved in their institution's development.
5. Bring together
Are you Alumni proud to have graduated from your institution? They should! Developing strong Alumni relations and offering services they need will help.
Be available, give them professional and business opportunities, grant access to a updated data base of contact, etc. You have a great role to play in bringing your community together and in feeling them involved!