WHY START THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION?
Institutions seek stronger relations with the alumni because the alumni are seen as resources to assist institutions deal with various challenges facing them.
Some of the challenges include:-
- The dwindling financial support by Governments causing institutions to seek alternative sources of funding.
- Liberalization of education leading to establishment of more institutions of higher learning and therefore greater competition for students.
- Globalization that has led to opening of Campuses of foreign universities in Kenya thus creating competition to the local universities.
- Increased need for involvement of stake holders in the development of programmes and review of existing ones to align them with market demand.
- Limited employment opportunities for graduates making it difficult to attract students in some programmes hence the need to undertake greater promotional work by institutions.
- Increased requirements for transparency and accountability to stakeholders.
- Greater pressure for performance with minimal resources e.g. the performance contracting concept.
BENEFITS OF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO THE ALUMNI
- For job seekers, their institutions provide a source of employment contacts. Many companies seeking employees often make requests to the institutions for graduates to employ.
- The graduates also seek recommendations from lecturers at the institution when going for job interviews. In the cause of their employment sometimes graduates consult institutions when they are in need of further guidance or information concerning their areas of specialization.
- For those entering business, they may need additional human resources and this may be provided by the institutions. They may also seek technical advice institutions.
- Opportunities for further studies. Some graduates may go back to their former institutions for further studies.
- Creating networks with other former students who may provide information on opportunities for business, employment and further studies.
BENEFITS OF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO THE UNIVERSITY
The Alumni often have first-hand knowledge of the institutions from their study experiences.
They can therefore:
- Act as University’s special ambassadors in spreading word about the exciting opportunities in the institutions.
- Make presentations to prospective students in Kenya and abroad thereby help in marketing of the institutions and their programmes.
- Provide feedback to the institutions on their programmes and therefore help in the improvement of such programmes.
- Serve on advisory committees at the various faculties, departments, or research centres.
- Assist as resource or contact persons.
- Serve as assessors, judges, or examiners in various activities.
- Assist in enhancement of professional or personal enrichment of fellow alumni or current students.
- Share knowledge and experience with students, and inspire them
- Serve as guests of honor, and speakers at various student bodies.
- Assist with industrial attachment of students.
- Assist with job seeking of fresh graduates.
- Make financial contributions and donations in kind for development of institutions.
Through the above activities, the Alumni Association can help the institution overcome several challenges, In particular:
- The institutions would generate additional financial resources for running their programmes from Alumni contributions.
- The institutions have access to a mass of human resources that can be utilized to support their various needs.
- The institutions can improve their physical facilities for more effective training.
- The institutions can get greater student enrolments through promotional activities undertaken by their alumni.
- The institutions would have capacity to undertake better research using additional funds generated and better physical facilities
- The institutions can be able to develop more relevant programmes through the involvement of the alumni in the curriculum development and review.
BENEFITS TO THE SOCIETY
- Good alumni relations can act as social control through peer pressure and role modeling.
- They can contribute to more effective human resource base to support societal development by provision of good facilities for training.
- Improvement in facilities at local institution will attract highly qualified individuals who currently migrate to developed countries with such facilities.