Universities ignoring a rich resource – Their alumni

Universities across Africa are sitting on – and ignoring – a potential gold mine: their graduates. Research from the Global North, where tracking and keeping in touch with alumni is common practice for universities, shows that this reaps huge benefits, writes Peter Ngure for The Conversation.

Alumni pledges sometimes give money to their alma mater annually. Others use their influence in particular industries or business circles to convince others to donate. The situation is very different in African countries. A recent study by the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) paints a gloomy picture of the state of alumni and career tracking in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi. CARTA aims to build a vibrant, productive African academy and a critical mass of effective researchers.

Our study found that universities in these countries have a dearth of consistent, systematic mechanisms for tracking their graduates. They don’t know where their graduates go, what they’re doing or how they’re using their training and skills. Nor do they know what advice their alumni might have to improve their alma maters. They have limited knowledge about who might be a position to fund raise or mobilise others to donate.
Full report on The Conversation site