Database of PhD students/academics and a structured programme how to engage alumni in the academic and public life of the HEI.
Various forms of collaboration engaging alumni are possible e.g.: information sharing/distribution, organising events, alumni as academic and cultural ambassadors, alumni as academic and intercultural mentors
Active alumni networks of international PhDs and academics play an important role in strengthening the HEI reputation at the international level. Their knowledge and working and life experience represent a valuable resource from which potential/future Ph.D. students and visiting academics can greatly benefit. Active alumni are valuable assets for the HEI, their experience of living in a host country and the knowledge of how they incorporated their study or research/academic activity at the particular HEI into their further professional career can help the HEI optimize their study/research programmes, academic or research conditions, and external cooperations. Alumni can help in achieving higher visibility of the HEI nationally and internationally, they can create bridges among different cultures and reach out to broader academic and public audience.
On the other hand, the alumni can benefit from a variety of professionals and workplaces and continue their lifelong learning and develop rewarding collaborations.
Improved access to information Better communication and cooperation Improved visibility Increased enrollment and retention
|Categories||Profesional & Academic Development Networking Promotion & Visibility|
|Mobility stages||After-leaving Pre-departure|
|Importance||Important to have|
|Scale of organizational change|
|Target groups||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Types of contracts of researchers||Full degree student Permanent employee Visiting scholar Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Fixed term employee Exchange student|
|Career stages of researchers||Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience More than 15 years of experience|
|Lengths of stays of researchers||3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months|
When setting the collaboration with alumni you can consider the following steps:
Phase 1 - Scope planning:
Phase 2 - Database and recruitment planning
Phase 3 - Delivery planning - Information sharing, Events, Alumni as Ambassadors
Phase 4 - Delivery planning - Alumni as Mentors
mentoring scheme e.g. based on the academic profile or cultural background - description to be continued
Challenges (factors to consider): It is necessary to have in mind relevant legislation on personal data protection.
|Cost of practice setup|
|Time required for practice setup|
|Personnel effort required for practice setup|
|Actors involved in practice setup||
|Partners involved in practice setup||
|Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup||
Internal actors (who):
@ IRO/welcome centre/HR department/Study department: these departments can play a crucial role in the recruitment phase, as they shall be informed of the arrivals and departures of PhDs/academics
@ IT support departments: can handle the IT system running the database of alumni and all the data administration
@ PR department: can be in charge of the content/information sharing, preparation of events in liaison with students and researchers associations and respective science departments
@ Other HEI/research organisations in city/region: Find out if the HEI in the city/region has a similar alumni programme and consider, if joining forces for e.g. public events could lead to a higher visibility of the academic institutions.
@ Municipality: can plan to engage alumni into municipality cultural and educational events as speakers and potential promoters of city identity/brand abroad.
Recruitment - Database feeding:
Alumnis as ambassadors (alumni events and promotion activities):
Alumni as mentors: this activity has a personalised dimension thus requires the consent of the respective alumnus to be contacted based on the filtered criteria in the database. Mentoring programme could have several forms e.g.:
|Cost of practice delivery|
|Time required for practice delivery|
|Personnel effort required for practice delivery|
|Actors involved in practice delivery||
|Partners involved in practice delivery||
|Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery||
Internal actors (who):
@ IRO/welcome centre/HR department/Study department: these departments can play a crucial role in the recruitment phase, as they shall be informed of arrivals and departures of PhDs/academics
@ PR department: can be in charge of the content/information sharing, preparation of events in liason with students and researchers associations and respective science departments, research office, career development centre, centre for continuous education.
@ Career development centre: can use the database for testimonies, career talks, connection to business, etc.
@ Other HEIs in the host country:
In order to reach a synergetic effect and lower the human and financial costs, several/all HEIs in the host country can join forces to create and run a (national) International Alumni Network and facilitate its connection to the local Alumni networks. This will facilitate approaching a larger amount of international alumni, promote the host country as a study/research destination, organize (online) events in collaboration with other partners such as embassies, national mobility funding agencies, other international Alumni networks.
HEIs can collaborate with embassies when promoting the host country as a study/research destination (e.g. international education fairs), among others, inviting international alumni from the respective region to share their study[research and cultural experience to support the visibility and attractivity of the host country/HEI.
@ Municipality/local or regional government:
HEIs can collaborate with the municipality or local/regional government when organizing various events or alumni (providing a representative venue for alumni gatherings, building the image of the city/region/common brand awareness events, inviting alumni as speakers to various relevant events related to major societal issues or development of the city/region and its public space.
@ Career advisor:
offering career-focused webinars on topics like personal branding, writing effective resumes, developing and modifying a career plan, negotiating a promotion, networking, or professional and technical updates.
Research Alumni Network has been created for current and former visiting researchers in Heidelberg as well as for researchers with a Heidelberg background working abroad. Among others, it runs a programme for international junior as well as former scientists who want to initiate projects for the first time or renew contacts again during a short stay at Heidelberg University or a university-related research institution in Heidelberg.
The Network also offers:
RWTH Aachen University collaborates with research alumni (guest scientists, doctoral students) to enhance institutional programmes, activities, and services based on the alumni's ideas and suggestions for improvement. Research alumni also serve as ambassadors helping spread the word about the manifold study and research opportunities at RWTH Aachen. The university also publishes success stories of its international research alumni.
The ETH Alumni Association offers its members various benefits such as:
CEITEC Alumni Network publishes their alumni success stories, creates a LinkedIn group for sharing and exchange of information, support the alumni to become CEITEC ambassadors.