Alumni power

Alumni power by Raimonda Agnė Medeišienė, Elinga Noreikaitė, Version 2017, EURASHE_AC_LeHavre_170330-31_pres_MEDEISIENE_NOREIKAITE_breakout.pdf (3.2 MB) -

This break out session is based on findings of the Nordplus Horizontal project New Strategies for Working Life Collaboration (Nr. NPHZ-2014/10017). Most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Vocational education and training schools (VETs) in Britain and the US which have established alumni societies appointed coordinators to build relationships as a function of their public relations, foster alumni’s commitment to the institution, strengthen identification with it, and, what is crucially important, increase philanthropic fundraising to the institutions. These departments replicate the functions of customer relationship management (CRM) of private organisations (Stevick, 2010). They build shared databases and seek to maintain valuable relationships with prospective and current alumni (i.e. customers). They keep the alumni in touch with their alma mater by sending out messages about events and testing the concepts of new products (e.g. curricula), which also helps them to anticipate new customers’ needs and respond to labour market demands. Many alumni societies have websites where both alumni and the alma mater share information about the activities and update the news. Other forms of keeping in touch with the alumni and promoting philanthropy for future alumni and their families include welcome receptions for first-year parents in faculty-in-residence apartments, common. Most of the data (and research findings) about the situation of the character, scope and peculiarities of the cooperation between an educational institution and alumni comes from American and British universities. The situation in continental Europe and, in particular, Baltic and Nordic countries remains largely unexplored. A general situation of alumni activities in most HEIs is fragmented. Most of the universities, same as VET schools, based on the website monitoring, seem to compile a database of the alumni but this is based on voluntariness. Many social gatherings are irregular, they are organized spontaneously. Rarely is there a person whose tasks include coordination of alumni activities.