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University of Oxford

The alumni relations team have used the results to build profiles of its alumni as they move through their lives, creating a map of their journey that can be used to target communications and outreach activities.

Background

University of Oxford is a leading UK university. With a competitive acceptance rate of just over 13.5% in 2021, it is no wonder the Times World University rankings places the university as the world’s top institution.

We first worked with Oxford several years ago. A major survey was conducted to gauge alumni perceptions of the benefits and services the University offers. After revealing a low awareness of alumni services, their team has since been working on how to improve on this.

This research was originally conducted by YouthSight, now part of Savanta.

The Challenge

Five years on, the alumni relations team wanted a more detailed understanding of how alumni feel about the University and its thirty-eight colleges, and how these feelings are influenced by people’s age, location, and life stage.

Oxford wanted to answer:
Did alumni feel a closer affinity with the college where they studied, their subject department, or the University as a whole?

Our approach

The research was approached with another major survey, which revealed that former students had just as much affinity with the whole university as with the individual colleges they studied at.

In addition, the findings highlighted opportunities for subject departments to engage more with alumni.

We also found that while alumni were keen to attend events, they often couldn’t travel to the University to do so.

The outcome

The alumni relations team have used the results to build profiles of its students as they move through their lives, creating a map of their journey that can be used to target communications and outreach activities.

The findings also supported the case for getting more academics to travel, to make the University more visible to its alumni.

This research was originally conducted by YouthSight, now part of Savanta.

Understanding of alumni’s connection to the university is helping us build a more nuanced communications and outreach programme based on people’s experience and lifecycle stage

University of Oxford

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