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How Partnerships Can Stretch Global Alumni Reach

Universities face plenty of challenges in engaging their international alumni—from locating alumni to drawing them to events and building a community.

But as more U.K. universities have found, partnerships with government organizations can boost their global reach.

"Everyone is trying to reconnect with their alumni," says Stephanie Blochinger, education officer for the British Council, the U.K. government's international arm for cultural relations. "There's a desire to share stories of alumni success and raise the profile of education in their countries."

To help accomplish that, the British Council launched the Education UK Alumni Network in January 2016, which hosts monthly networking and cultural events. This collaborative approach helps universities—especially smaller ones—grow, says Blochinger, who described the program's impact in the latest issue of Currents.

"A lot of the more established universities—Cambridge, Oxford, the London School of Economics and King's College—have offices in the U.S.," says Blochinger. "The smaller universities don't have as strong of a reach, with maybe 500 or 1,000 alumni in the U.S. This program is a good fit for those universities who have a large number of alumni in the U.S. but not so many that they can fill an event hall on their own."

Great global minds think alike: Australia recently launched a similar program, the Australia Global Alumni Strategy.

Read more about these university and government partnerships in "Access and Allies" in the December issue of Currents. Download the Currents app for access to the digital edition.

This article is from the December 2016 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.