Role Of Alumni In University Development

It begins with interest and responsibility
It continues with relationships that are worthwhile
It ends with benefit for all.

 

  • Introduction

    The involvement of alumni in supporting and providing contributions voluntarily to their university is important for maintaining and expanding a university’s development. By establishing channels that can facilitate closer ties between the alumni, students and university, it can provide crucial benefits in enriching the student’s experience while being at the university.Every alumni has experienced being a student to becoming a unique and different graduate, hence there is potential for all alumni to contribute to the university in different ways and scale.
  • Role Model and Inspiration

    Alumni is an effective role model and can be easily accepted by students. With the return of the alumni to support the university, they bring with them credibility and justification as part of a successful university, having breathed the same air and encountering similar challenges faced by the students. Experiences that are shared by the alumni with students whether in time management, financial management, development of self-discipline and character, or in career management can be more easily accepted as guidance and inspiration by students. Through this way, alumni can assist in strengthening confidence, improve motivation and inculcate the right culture in line with what the university intends to convey to its students.
  • Career mentor

    Competition in entering the work force is becoming more intensive as a result of a higher number of graduates compared with a limited number of job opportunities. Job availability is more critical in certain sectors. In the final year of their studies, students must identify seriously their career prospects. This is the right time for alumni to support the students by mentoring them on their career opportunities in the industry and opening channels for the students for acceptance, either in undergoing practical learning or work experience in the institutions where the alumni reside in. Alumni can be a reference for the faculty concerned in meeting the needs of students and graduates in obtaining work in selected fields. The curiculum at the university can be improved as to fulfill the work aspirations of the students.
  • Providing expertise

    Besides that, the alumni can contribute by providing their expertise in their occupation in developing new study programs in the university. Alumni can contribute as a guest lecturer, advisor in committees, industry experts and cooperative partners in projects with the university. This will improve the development of their alma mater.In the field of industry research, alumni can open doors for the university to enter into industry networks either in Malaysia or overseas in the spirit of collaborative working. This gives opportunites to the university to improve in a particular industry by applying the theories that have been analysed and tested with other industry experts.

    Success in knowledge transfer will further improve the capacity and the reputation of the university with significance nationally and internationally.

  • Opportunity to access professional development

    The senior alumni community that are successful can be a most effective medium not just for the university graduates but also with the younger alumni. When the alumni community is successful and obtain recognition from the corporate world, industry and the wider community, it can potentially create a stronger network as well as trust in the university and in turn, will assist younger alumni from the university to access opportunities in improving their careers and professionalism. Currently, more universities are committed in providing continuous education that can assist in improving the careers of the working graduates by offering postgraduate courses to alumni that graduated with 1st or 2nd class honours.
  • Improve student recruitment efforts

    Alumni can encourage students especially their family and friends to consider their university as the provider of higher education. The alumni can also show the students on how to join the work field after finishing their studies. Experiences in the university and the success of the alumni in their work can be of significant factors for students in choosing a university. Other than that, voluntary alumni can be ambassadors that are involved actively in student recruitment efforts that are made by the faculties of the university. The initiatives can be implemented at a national, regional and international level depending on the alumni’s potential and position.

  • Increase efforts in collecting funds

    Alumni especially the more senior ones that are more stable from the economy perspective are able to reduce the financial burden of underprivileged students in university. It is similar to lighting a candle that will give meaningful positive impact to the students’ lives. An active alumni association can encourage greater collection of funds enabling the establishment of scholarships, supporting students’ activities, cultural programs and clubs and associations expeditions, assisting in establishment of infrastructure for people with disabilities (OKUs) and support innnovative improvements at the university. Harvard University and Al Azhar University are examples of universities having the largest endowment funds in the world and a substantial part of it is contributed by the alumni. The endowment fund can sustain the sponsorship of significant programs, scientific research discoveries and supported hundreds of professors in various fields of academic.
  • Support the university’s reputation

    Views and positive statements that alumni present in relation to their university through media or other physical or social means provides support for the university reputation. It can influence the community because of public perception that the alumni is more understanding of the challenges faced at the university having undertaking several years at the university. Alumni that have served successfully in various sectors, either domestically or internationally, have authenticated the quality and effectiveness of the education program, research and the university’s community. The more influential the position of the alumni in their work, the higher the recognition that society will place on the particular university.
  • Summary

    The alumni’s role is crucial for the development of the university. All alumni can provide support in various aspects that are beneficial to the students, graduates, alumni, universities and the society. The alumni’s opinion in developing the university and proposed solutions to the challenges faced by the university is highly valued by the university in achieving its vision and mission. The alumni is an asset to the university, and their contributions and involvement can significantly increase the reputation of the university nationally and internationally. Finally, in the framework to strengthen the development of the state and the nation, successful alumni can be the social model for unity of the society and a factor for economic growth and development.