In May 2021, Commonwealth Alumni were invited to share their feedback on activities delivered through the CSC’s Alumni Network between April 2018 and March 2021 as part of an ongoing review to inform the development of future activities and opportunities for alumni. The survey was open to all alumni and covered a range of publications, events, and programmes.
Over 390 alumni shared their feedback via an online survey. As well as providing feedback activities they were engaged in, respondents were also asked to provide feedback on those they didn’t engage in, including the reasons why and potential benefits of widening activities. Key findings from the feedback survey are below.
Respondents highlighted that activities offered during this period had provided engagement opportunities in the following ways:
- Events were reported to be useful, informative, and interesting, with a variety of event formats provided
- Expanding event programming to virtual opportunities, as well as delivering a new webinar series, had been well-received in 2020/21
- Publications, such as Common Knowledge and The Common Room, were reported to be interesting and informative and provided valuable opportunities for alumni to demonstrate and showcase their work
- Where available, Alumni Associations provided respondents with engaging in-country networks and enabled ongoing networking and connections with the CSC
- Those who had taken part in the Alumni Community Engagement Fund (ACEF) and Mentoring Programme felt these were valuable activities which enabled skills development
Areas highlighted for consideration for further development included:
- Greater communication and promotion of alumni activities, including event programming, webinars, and Alumni Association activities
- Delivery of a blended model for events, acknowledging both the opportunities and limitations of both in-person and virtual engagement
- Increase in the number publications and calls for alumni to share their updates and stories
- Refreshed opportunities for online engagement between Commonwealth Scholars and Alumni, including greater guidance on engagement platforms
- Increase in Alumni Association engagement and support for this, alongside increased communications on the activities of associations
- Expanding opportunities within the Mentoring Programme for skills development and post-study support
A full report on the feedback shared by respondents has been produced and will be used by the Commission to advise general and specific improvements to current activities delivered through the CSC’s Alumni Network, as well as potential new or expanded opportunities.