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.
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.