About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
June 8, 2017

More Institutions in Asia-Pacific Region Deploying “Robust” Alumni Engagement Tactics

SINGAPORE — A new white paper reports that institutions in the Asia-Pacific region are investing more in their alumni relations programs, suggesting a growing institutional awareness of the importance of a strong and robust alumni program.

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Alumni Relations Survey, conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, includes data on budgets, staffing, overall operations and alumni engagement as reported by participating institutions.

Key findings include:

  • The number of alumni who participate in programs and the number of alumni who are contactable were the two most common measurements of engagement.
  • The median alumni relations budget for participating institutions grew almost 39 percent between 2014 and 2016; during the same time period, median staff size grew from 4.8 to 5.5.
  • The median percentage of alumni contactable by email was 61 percent. 
  • Email open rates reported by survey participants averaged 21 percent, which compares favorably to average open rates in North America and Europe of 19.5 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
  • Mentoring current students or alumni and presenting or speaking to others were the two most popular alumni volunteer activities.

CASE launched the volunteer-led Asia-Pacific Alumni Relations Survey in 2014 to provide a resource for alumni relations professionals to benchmark performance internally and against fellow institutions of higher education. The survey is a derivative of the International CASE Alumni Relations Survey, which is in its 11th year of evaluating the alumni relations operations of European institutions.

Tricia King, vice president of global engagement for CASE, says more institutions in the Asia-Pacific region are benchmarking their alumni relations activities.

"We saw a strong increase in the number of institutions participating in this year's survey," King says. "The higher participation rate is an indication of the increasing importance of alumni engagement to educational institutions in these regions," King says.

Forty institutions from eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region participated in the 2016 iteration, with 20 of them completing all three editions of the survey. In addition, participating institutions for this year's survey were given the option of an exclusive consultation with Marie Earl, strategy consultant and executive coach, and former executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president of alumni at University of British Columbia.

Beng Hwee Chua, executive director of CASE Asia-Pacific, looks forward to further development of the survey.

"I believe that we can further develop the survey to make it even more significant for alumni and their alma maters to reap greater benefits, and for more institutions to start focusing resources on collection of this data, especially as the alumni profession becomes more data-driven and value-focused in the years to come."

CASE's Commission on Alumni Relations has launched an ambitious project to develop tools to measure and guide alumni engagement, including a set of metrics and standards of practice for alumni engagement. Going forward, it is hoped that this work will compliment and extend the scope of CASE's ongoing work on alumni engagement globally.

About the Asia-Pacific Alumni Relations Survey

The Asia-Pacific Alumni Relations Survey (APARS) is the first CASE survey of alumni relations programs at institutions of higher education in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the International CASE Alumni Relations Survey as a framework for the questionnaire.

APARS largely focuses on "input" measures (investments of time and money) and allows participating institutions to compare investments and offerings in overall alumni relations operations. The 2016 survey introduced behavioral metrics to benchmark alumni engagement across institutions in a meaningful way. Twelve outcome questions were added to the survey to help institutions gauge the return on investment for their alumni offerings.

Forty institutions participated in the 2016 survey, an increase from 36 in 2015 and 32 in the inaugural 2014 survey.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.