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Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association What next? Louise Simpson 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association What next? Louise Simpson 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association What next? Louise Simpson 1

2 Today Intro Alumni relations in 21 st Some examples of interesting practice Learning from ORSAS and... Other non-university alumni groups Issues and Questions for you

3 Introductions

4 10 years, Director of Communications, Cambridge University Director of The Knowledge Partnership –Specialist higher education consultancy –Advisor to European Commission on Study in Europe website and brand About Me

5 5

6 The Knowledge Partnership Specialist independent HE consultancy Known name in HE Politically aware and impartial Offices in Leeds, Cambridge and Australia Consultants with hands on expertise in university communications and marketing 6



9 European Commission work To improve mobility to Europe To make Europe a top study destination To help countries in Europe improve their marketing – particularly Eastern and Southern Europe


11 Alumni relations in 21 st Century

12 International student market 1996: 1.68 m international students 2004: 2.5 million 2025: 7.2 million projected Harvard has 270,000 alumni

13 Countries with biggest share of international student markets (2006, OECD) United States(22%)550,000 United Kingdom(12%)300,000 Australia(7%)175,000 China(6%)150,000 Japan(5%)125,000

14 Some international scholarships Fulbright Marshall Rhodes DAAD Canadian Rhodes Churchill Gates Keasbey ITO LUCE Mitchell Sachs St. Andrew’s of New York Ford Hertz decision APR NSF Soros

15 USA –USA has the highest expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP at 2.9% –More than double many European countries. –It has the highest number of international students –One of the wealthiest countries in the world –Achieves the most universities ranked in the top 100 –Originator of alumni relations as we know it today

16 Proportion of world ranked universities by area

17 Alumnae and alumni are women and men who have been reared or nourished by their alma mater, their “nourishing mother.” Alumnus, alumna, and alma are all derived from the Latin verb alere, “to nourish.” Coeducational institutions usually use alumni for graduates of both sexes. 17

18 18 How many clubs do you belong to?

19 19


21 Some Alumni Trends

22 New York University trends The first campaign was billion dollar, from 86-89 Then second one, done in half the time 96-2001 And third one started – 6 years, finished aug 2008 – 2.5 billion campaign – we exceeded it by 500 million.

23 Princeton “Student affinity starts with application process, we have an active schools committee, 9000 alumni interview the applicants to Princeton, 21K had an interview this year. So these alumni interview them for free – it’s an opp to sell Princeton, rather than select the best.”

24 All ivy leagues use alumni to interview, except Stanford, but they are starting Alumni given guidelines – eg don’t have it in your home, they don’t discuss grades or scores. Once students admitted, then alumni will get in touch again


26 How does Princeton measure success of alumni infinity? Money of course, we have best rate of annual giving – around 60% give something of our ug alumni 85% give once in 5 years

27 They drink the orange and black Koolaid from the minute they get here – so they are incredibly loyal. There number one affinity is with their undergradate school, so not graduate... We measure attendance (at alumni events) and track satisfaction too.





32 Interactivity Multiple access points Multiple international group Web research polls to monitor opinion and segment communications

33 33 Alumni holidays



36 Rise of alumni relations 20 th Century Historical roots - US Convocation, matriculation, congregations One alma mater Benefactors in late 50s Old Boy’s Network Discreet fundraising Alumni on graduation 21 st Century Spread to Asia, Europe Face book, email, twitter, YouTube 2-3 possible alma maters Benefactors in 30s and 40 Network for men and women Campaigns Alumni on admission 36

37 Organizational trends 1990s Volunteer Not specifically about fundraising Directors always alumni 2000s Professionalization Internalization Coming under Development Directors – experience pros CASE

38 Roles and responsibilities Identifying and tracking of alumni. Informing alumni regularly about the alma mater and keeping them “attached” to her. Developing or increasing interest in the alma mater both through communications and programming. Involving alumni in the life of the university/awards programme Providing meaningful opportunities for alumni to give back – to invest in future Other?

39 39 Alumni uni benefits Fundraising. Public Affairs - Alumni should be your greatest selling point - friends, advocates, advisors Marketing - Helping you attract new students Future supply – research, teaching Alumni may return as staff and mentors Brand enhancement

40 What’s in it for the Student? Added student experience Networking Career enhancement Mobility/internationalism Brand enhancement 40

41 How do non-university alumni organisations (eg EM) differ? No strong sense of place Alumni may not have known each other as students Universities not keen on highlighting differences Fundraising not central (therefore no income?) Unis don’t want competition

42 Lessons from ORS

43 Why students choose....

44 ‘ We can’t treat ORS students differently to our others. There would be an outcry!’ Administrator ‘There’s no community for ORS scholars. It would be nice to network like the Commonwealth scholars do, they have social events, dinners…’ Indian student ‘In South Africa we have the Mandela scholarships – with visits, trips, and an annual conference.’ South African student ‘



47 Issues that destroyed ORS No money No organizer No strong name, and brand weak University brand name more important than ORS

48 Marshall alumni scheme

49 Marshall Scholars Alumni network The scheme has run since 1953, and has 1600 alumni and a strong alumni association. A recent survey they ran had a 60% response rate.

50 Mary Denyer describes the alumni as having a very active relationship, and 50 million dollars have been invested in the UK by Marshall Scholars (survey shows). “We have a separate alumni organisation, run by the alumni, and they donate to it. It helps that it’s American. They have a culture of giving.”

51 The latest alumni survey shows that the scholars have progressed into highly public careers – including a Supreme Court justice, an American entrepreneur, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

52 Marshall Scheme shows that management of scholars from outset is hugely important to establishing tone.

53 The scholars are treated as a ‘class’ from the outset. They have a 3 day orientation in Washington, then in London, hosted by the ambassador. The students make friends, spending five days together. They have events for all scholars in the UK. Each year the pg cohort (years 1, 2 and 3) have trip to a devolved government (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England or Wales) and a formal dinner annually. They have a certificate signed by the foreign secretary.

54 “We would never devolve the scheme, because it’s important as public diplomacy. You need to make the students feel special every step of way, and oversee them centrally. The universities do their best with international students, but they do make mistakes and we are English speaking and used to doing it. It makes me wonder how international students manage to get through the maze of university admissions.”

55 Fulbright

56 Scheme expanding brand to increase funding – eg RCS ‘We use our alumni to select. Some academic representation, plus younger people. We are looking at interview for something extra in addition for academic talent – i.e. flair, spark, articulacy.’ Important of engagement at outset secures alumni involvement:

57 ‘Affinity – this is done very well in States. We emulate this in UK – Scholars spend three days on an orientation programme in London when they arrive and then a further week in January which is a mixture of culture, networking and academic culture.’

58 Events are put on linked to personal development, empowerment, culture. ‘We spend Christmas with them, and then at the start of the winter term we do a topic – e.g. immigration. We had the immigration minister with a tour of the House of Commons, lunch Brick Lane, visit to Immigration Museum Brick Lane, high panel discussion on multi culturalism etc.’

59 Each has a mentor, who would also be an alumnus – (VC of Leeds mentoring young students in Fulbright). They are all fellows of the RSA too, which gives them a London base and is apparently very popular.

60 60 But how do Fulbright stop costs spiralling ? Doubling up roles (senior advocates needed) E letters, not print Use alumni to run the show – and answer the queries Charges for services?

61 Alumni network strong, all scholars invited to events. Concert coming up. Lots going on. Cultural stuff they can do for free. They feel they are Fulbright scholars, they also do some outreach talking about the US – they each have a buddy in the States.

62 Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Alumni network Regular alumni surveys of members – 2500 responses. They have a network, and are in contact with 40% of everyone who has ever had a commonwealth scholarship.

63 They have newsletter, email professional networks newsgroups for gender studies, science and technology, agriculture etc. Started alumni groups in 2000, in conventional way, with country segmentation, but they had limited impact. Today they group people by professional interests:

64 ‘People are busy, and have membership of 3 or 4 other alumni associations. Some are in the UK, some need to recognize we are not at the centre of their world, and they will be busy people, and you have to justify it terms of their careers. They are well attended. People have little in common with others in terms of their country. So subject is much more meaningful.’

65 Issues and questions for you

66 “ I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would accept me as member." Groucho Marx

67 67 Issues for any alumni organisation Why are you doing it? And who for? How will it relate with your mission? Is it sustainable? What are the risks associated with it? What are you hoping to achieve? (friends, money, more students…) Governance models

68 Dependent – funding from university/scholarship board – director reports to University officer Independent – funding from other sources, CEO reports to volunteer board Interdependent associations (mix of above)

69 Alumni Boards Dependent-association Boards - To advise, exert influence but don’t set budget. Made up of ‘influencers’ and ‘representatives’

70 Funding sources dues, affinity programs, travel and merchandise sales, sponsors (contentious) Dues in US – ‘annual’ and ‘life’ Annual giving clubs Life members = most loyal

71 71 Measuring success Number of alumni? Number of engaged alumni? Number coming to meetings? Number paying to belong/donating? Reputation of the organisation? Number of applicants to the EM scheme? Destinations and success of EM scholars...

72 72 Practical matters Staffing issues Cost of running an alumni operation Will you raise less than it costs? Maintaining databases Creating unreal expectations Alumni fatigue Succession management, training, leadership

73 Risks with Erasmus Friendships based on subject or uni not scholarship? EU funding – will it for ever? Name recognition? Are volunteers advisers or operational staff? Quality assurance? How to keep consistent if managed by alumni?

74 Relationships – with EC, with the Erasmus Mundus office, with the universities, with the scholars, with Natalia

75 Other questions Can you ask alumni to give back when/if rich? Like Gates? How do you keep the older alumni part of the organization? (eg Humboldt) How can the alumni organisation influence/support the EM main organisation? What research have you done to support future business decisions?

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