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Life after graduation

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  • 1. Life after Graduation Engaging Alumni in University Development Ioana Mureşan, Alumni Association Cătălina Amihăiesi, Fund Raising Office Babeş – Bolyai University, Danube Rectors’ Conference – Cluj, November 2010
  • 2. Presentation Outline Interest for alumni engagement & current actions of public universities Babeş – Bolyai Alumni: • available resources • objectives • projects • communication plan Conclusions
  • 3. National focus on graduate employability European funds used at national level to measure graduates’ employability through a national survey conducted by the Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding (UEFISCSU) Current focus on employability only
  • 4. Out of 50 Romanian public universities...  35 have no special section for/about graduates on their website  9 have some dedicated section, but no relevant/updated content  4 have a dedicated section (including membership) with more activities and news  2 have dedicated sections, updated and relevant content for their graduates Source: Authors’ own research, October 2010
  • 5. Forget me not: alumni do come back informal alumni groups using social media occasional visits to faculties and former teachers alumni reunions (often without the faculties’ contribution) voluntary course evaluation & feedback
  • 6. What can alumni offer?  Time – volunteer for faculty programmes  Talent – course feedback, career counselling  Treasure – donate for faculty programmes employability Time Talent Treasure
  • 7. Myths & excuses  no alumni culture  no giving culture  alumni too busy, too far, not interested  no money for education  too expensive to engage alumni  informal online groups  willingness to give  reunions  student organizations  alumni’s role in course evaluations and curricula improvement Facts & opportunities
  • 8. Objectives  from 300 to 3000 members (1 year time)  awareness and internal support from faculties – at least 3 alumni networks started at faculty level  run a first fundraising campaign  helping faculties create alumni networks  develop projects that best suit our needs and current resources, based on voluntary implication, reciprocity and common interests  alumni + students = long – term relationship
  • 9. Projects alumni mentoring webinars alumni activities and clubs communication plan (offline and online)
  • 10. Alumni Mentoring matching a student and a graduate to achieve some of the student’s professional objectives pilot edition – involved one faculty and 12 mentor-mentee pairs over a three – month period with good results current edition: dedicated domain, web platform, partners
  • 11. Webinars 5 online seminars 5 alumni speakers Over 80 student & young alumni participants General themes that engage a large number of graduates Graduates from all over the world can easily contribute
  • 12. Communication plan  Easy reachable for UBB graduates from all around the world – user friendly website  Relevant basic resources available for immediate use – contact information&structure, news about faculties, other graduates  Go where our graduates are (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • 13. Communication plan (2)  http://alumni.ubbcluj.ro – open source CMS & open source apps  Facebook & LinkedIn groups – more than 2800 members, average number of 30 new members/week  E-newsletters (faculty driven)
  • 14. Alumni activities & clubs  Don’t assume – test!  Start from current faculty activities around the university  Help alumni find what best suits them, at no extra costs for the university  Provide every graduate with an online activity calendar at his/her disposal  May start from lecture clubs and end up having hiking clubs
  • 15. Conclusions Never take anything for granted – test! Use every resource at hand (open licenses, open communities, reciprocity) Creatively engage alumni resources to improve current university services and develop new ones – start small, with on-hand resources